THE DISTRICT

Suspect in Theater Shooting Charged

A 41-year-old Northwest Washington man was charged yesterday with assault on a police officer while armed in a shooting Tuesday at the Uptown Theatre on Connecticut Ave. NW.

Police said James Herbert Nero, of the 700 block of Longfellow Street NW, robbed the Uptown shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday. The gunman fired at an employee who chased him, grazing the employee in the foot. Officers chased him after he fled in a Jeep Wrangler, and he fired at them from the vehicle, police said. Officers arrested Nero after the Jeep crashed into another vehicle and flipped over about five miles from the theater.

The employee who was shot in the foot was treated at Georgetown University Hospital, a theater official said.

Nero was arrested last month in Montgomery County and charged with assault, reckless endangerment and handgun possession, court records indicate. That case is pending.

VIRGINIA

Man Accused of Beating Toddler

A Mount Vernon area man who allegedly beat an 18-month-old boy with a slipper has been charged with felony assault, Fairfax County police said yesterday.

Police said Greg Anthony Hagans, 29, of 7982 Janna Lee Ave., was baby-sitting for several young children in the Reston home of his girlfriend June 17. Hagans allegedly became angry at the boy and struck him repeatedly with the slipper, causing marks and bruises on the boy's back, chest, stomach and face, police said. The injuries were so apparent that a private day-care provider who saw the boy the next day called police immediately.

The youth was taken to Columbia Reston Hospital for treatment and released. Detectives investigated and filed an assault charge Monday against Hagans.

Suspicious Man Reported Near School

Fairfax County police are investigating a report of a suspicious man seen lurking outside Cardinal Forest Elementary School in West Springfield on Tuesday evening.

According to police, a group of children were riding their bicycles on the basketball court in the rear of the school when they saw a man standing between two trailers watching them as he rubbed his crotch. When the man was approached by school staff members, he told them he lived nearby and left. School officials called police.

The man is described as a white male in his thirties, 5 feet 10 inches tall, with brown eyes, short straight black hair and a mustache. He was wearing dark baggy pants and a striped shirt.

MARYLAND

Laurel Man Arrested in Infant's Death

A 22-year-old Laurel man was arrested yesterday and charged with second-degree murder in the death of an 8-month-old girl.

William P. English, of the 9100 block of Blues Alley, also was charged with child abuse and second-degree assault and was being held at the Howard County police department southern district jail.

The infant was rushed to Children's Hospital with breathing problems June 2. She had been in the care of her 17-year-old babysitter, who was English's girlfriend, and English. Doctors found head injuries, police said. She died 16 days later.

English told doctors the baby had fallen over while sitting on the floor, police said. A pathologist concluded that blunt force had caused the injuries, according to police.

The medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide. The babysitter was not charged.

Immigration Agents Raid Car Wash

U.S. Immigration and Naturalization agents raided a Laurel business yesterday and arrested 13 illegal immigrants from Central America and Mexico, INS officials said.

Those arrested--12 men and one woman--were employed by the Laurel Car Wash at 115 Montrose Rd., said Barry Tang, assistant district director for investigations in the INS Baltimore office. Two men were released on their own recognizance. The others were being held under bonds ranging from $1,500 to $3,000, he said.

Tang said all 13 employees face deportation proceedings. He said the INS is investigating Laurel Car Wash for possible immigration law violations. Owners of the car wash did not return phone calls yesterday.