A 13-year-old Northwest Washington youth was stabbed and fatally wounded a few blocks from his home last night in a fight with a younger boy who was later arrested and charged with homicide, D.C. police reported.

They said Derrick Christopher Brown, of 5719 Third Place NW, was stabbed about 8 p.m. near Fourth and Peabody streets NW. He was taken by fire department ambulance to Children's Hospital, where he died about an hour later of multiple injuries, the hospital reported.

A police spokeswoman said a 12-year-old Northwest Washington boy, whose name was not released because of his age, was arrested a short time after the fight and charged in the incident.

Police disclosed few details last night, but from interviews with neighbors and an 18-year-old cousin of the victim, it appeared that the slain youth became involved in an altercation, went home, then returned to the scene of the dispute.

The cousin, Lisa Gaddis, said that shortly before 8 p.m. her cousin, whom she called Chris, "came running back" to the family home and said he had been pursued by a boy with a knife.

Gaddis said she told her cousin to remain on the porch of the two-story row house where he lived with her and her parents, his aunt and uncle. However, she said, when she went to check on him shortly afterward, he was not there.

A neighbor said Chris, a sixth grader at Whittier Elementary School, got a stick and returned to the scene of the earlier incident "to get revenge."

After being wounded, according to neighbors, he borrowed a bicycle from one of two other youths who had watched the altercation and rode back to his home, where he collapsed.

Gaddis said that when her cousin returned home the second time, he was bleeding from the neck. She said she and her mother, the youth's aunt, attempted to staunch the bleeding until an ambulance arrived.

"I asked him what happened," she said. "He said 'I got cut,' " She said it was her understanding that he did not know the boy he said had pursued him.

"Chris said he'd never seen him before," she said.

Residents of the victim's neighborhood said he was a slightly built youth who liked sports and frequently rode his bike in the area.

"He played a lot of softball andfootball," said Juanita Brown, a neighbor. "He was a good athlete."

She said reports of the incident came as "really a shock."

"This is a very quiet neighborhood," she said, "so quiet that when the police and the fire department came around the whole neighborhood went out."

A spokesman for the D.C. police department youth division said the 12-year-old suspect would be held pending a court appearance today. Authorities declined to give further details. Youths generally are held overnight at the city's Receiving Home for Children.