THE DISTRICT

Man Found Beaten After Dispute

An unidentified man involved in an early-morning fare dispute with a cabdriver yesterday was found severely beaten two hours later under the P Street bridge in Rock Creek Park, according to U.S. Park Police.

The 45-year-old victim was discovered unconscious at 6:20 a.m. by a male jogger. The jogger reported the incident to George Washington University Hospital, and D.C. police, fire and emergency medical services and Park Police were called. The unidentified victim remained unconscious yesterday afternoon in critical condition. He had no identification and has not been reported missing, according to Park Police Lt. Joseph Cox.

A D.C. police officer who went to the hospital recognized the man from an incident earlier yesterday along Columbia Road in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood, about a mile from where he was found, Cox said. The victim had argued with a cabdriver about 4:30 a.m., and police were called, Cox said. The dispute was settled and no police report was filed in the incident, he said.

The man suffered extensive facial and other head injuries, police said. He also may have been robbed, Cox said.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Park Police hot line at 202-690-5080.

Judge Eyes Stiffer Sentence in Capitol Case

The sentencing of Walter Wilson Johnson, the former Mississippi television newsman who carried a military knife into the U.S. Capitol, was postponed yesterday by a federal judge who wants to consider a longer jail term.

Johnson, 36, pleaded guilty in May to carrying a 12-inch knife on Capitol grounds during President Clinton's Senate impeachment trial. Federal guidelines call for a six-month jail term. During a scheduled sentencing hearing yesterday, however, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan wondered aloud whether six months would be severe enough. He asked whether he could impose a longer sentence in the absence of a request by prosecutors. The legal maximum is five years in prison.

"This wasn't just a penknife," Sullivan said. "It sounds as though he was on a mission of other sorts."

Johnson, whose knapsack contained the knife, a ski mask, two M-60 smoke bombs and such writings as Soldier of Fortune magazine and a terrorist handbook, has a years-long history of psychiatric problems for which he is taking medication, said defense attorney Barry Boss.

Fifteen Arrested in NW Drug Sting

Fifteen people were arrested yesterday during a drug sting in Northwest Washington, D.C. police said.

The early-morning raids occurred in the 500 and 600 blocks of Hobart Place NW and surrounding neighborhoods. Police confiscated cocaine and marijuana, a handgun, a rifle and $225.

The raids were part of an initiative to attack open-air drug markets, police said. More arrests are expected.

VIRGINIA

Dale City School Bus Driver Sentenced

A Dale City middle school bus driver, who injured several students in March when she slammed on the brakes, was ordered yesterday to pay $162 in restitution and to give up her driver's license for 45 days.

Barbara Hensley, 36, also was given a 90-day suspended jail sentence and was put on one year of probation in connection with the March 17 incident. Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert said Hensley entered a plea on a charge of reckless driving in exchange for prosecutors dropping a charge of cruelty to children.

Hensley slammed on the brakes of the school bus as she was driving about 25 children home from Beville Middle School, an action her husband said occurred because a student had screamed. Megan Salinas, 12, tore a ligament in her right elbow and dislodged a bone fragment after she was thrown into the back of a seat. Ebert said the restitution will pay for Salinas's medical expenses.