John Michael Holly, who had been sought in connection with the derailment of a freight train Sunday after it slammed into a bulldozer left on the tracks in Laurel, was arrested by Prince George's County police in Suitland last night on a warrant charging him with assault with intent to murder and felony theft.

Holly, 23, a former Laurel resident, was taken into custody shortly before 11 p.m. by undercover police at a rooming house at 2716 Parkland Dr., police said.

They said Holly was arrested without a struggle and that he was being held last night pending a bond hearing.

County police and the FBI had obtained warrants for Holly's arrest Wednesday based on accounts by several witnesses who said they saw a man driving the bulldozer near the Baltimore & Ohio railroad tracks in Laurel.

Police said this morning that the search for Holly was focused in the neighborhood where he was taken into custody because he was known to have friends there.

Holly had lived in Laurel as recently as four years ago but currently has no fixed address, police said.

Police said they believe the bulldozer was stolen from a nearby construction site, driven to the train tracks and used to dig up some railroad ties beneath the Cherry Lane overpass between Rtes. 1 and 197. They said the bulldozer was then abandoned with the shovel dangling over the tracks.

The 51-car train carrying automobiles and moving about 50 miles an hour slammed into the bulldozer at 3 a.m. Sunday. Four locomotives and 15 auto-freight cars derailed, causing about $1 million in damage to the equipment.

None of the train's four crew members was injured.