Passersby observed a bizarre street spectacle downtown yesterday when a man jumped onto the hood of his estranged wife's car and shouted angrily at her. The woman drove her car three blocks before it ran into another car, sending the husband sprawling into the street, D.C. police and a witness said.

The husband, identified as Reginald Peebles, 35, of the 1200 block of Penn Street NE, was in guarded condition last night at Howard University Hospital with arm, head and hand injuries.

Linda Peebles, 35, of the 6300 block of Willow Way in Clinton, was unhurt in the early afternoon incident at Fifth Street and New York Avenue NW.

The driver of the car that was struck was identified as Ivan Read, 58, of the 7400 block of Alaska Avenue NW, who was treated for neck injuries at George Washington University Hospital and released, said Detective Patrick Urban of the Traffic Division. The rammed car is owned by the D.C. lottery board.

Donald Perritt, an employee of District Cablevision who was driving a company truck, said he was waiting for a red light to change at New Jersey and New York avenues NW when he saw a man hurl himself onto the hood of the red car next to him. Perritt said the man hung on by grasping the door handle and wiper blades as she drove the three blocks to Fifth and New York.

The husband was yelling and "going berserk," Urban said. "She couldn't see where she was going and she hit another car, and he just flew off," Perritt said.

Perritt said he first thought the man was a panhandler trying to rob the driver. He said he followed the car to see if he could help the woman.

"After the man fell off, I stayed right behind her," he said. "I put on my {yellow} light to stop her. She pulled right over."

Three firetrucks, three ambulances and numerous police cars responded to the scene. Six medics worked on Reginald Peebles, placing splints on a leg and arm, bandaging his right hand and head as he lay on a concrete traffic island. His black athletic shoes were 10 feet away in the street.

Thirty minutes after the collision, Linda Peebles stood next to her heavily damaged car outside the police station. She said only that she was all right "by the grace of God."

Urban said Linda Peebles would not be charged because of the "unusual circumstances" of the case. Police had not charged Reginald Peebles last night.

Urban said an investigation showed that Peebles did not intend to hurt her husband, but was instead heading for the nearest police station to get help. That happened to be the traffic division headquarters at Sixth Street and New York Avenue NW, where Urban works.

Urban said that when the Peebles car hit the lottery board car, that car was pushed across New York Avenue into oncoming traffic. It struck an eastbound car driven by Carlton Thompson, 30, of the 200 block of V Street NW. Thompson and a passenger in his car, Carl Bryant, 35, who lives on the same block, were treated at Washington Hospital Center and released, Urban said.