MARYLAND

Largo Student, 15, Arrested in Assault

A 15-year-old Largo High School student was charged with two counts of second-degree assault after he allegedly punched a teacher and swung at a police officer yesterday, police said.

The student approached the teacher and leaned on him after complaining of allergies during a lesson at about 2:30, police Cpl. Timothy Estes said. The teacher told the student to stop touching him and turned to contact the front office through an intercom.

The student then allegedly punched the teacher in the head, knocking him temporarily unconscious, police said. When police arrived at the school, an officer tried to arrest the youth, who allegedly took a swing at the officer. The teacher was taken to Doctors Hospital in Lanham, where he was listed in fair condition with head injuries.

The student also was charged with carrying a pager on school property. All the charges are misdemeanors.

41 Snakes Found at Forestville Home

Prince George's County deputies serving foreclosure papers at a Forestville home stumbled into a snake pit yesterday.

Inside a rear garage, deputies found at least 41 snakes, including two poisonous eyelash pit vipers, in jars and plastic see-through containers with holes punched in the tops, said Sgt. Bill Ament, a spokesman for the sheriff's department. Thirty-one of the snakes were dead, Ament said.

Dwight Hinnint, 27, of the 2600 block of Kirtland Avenue, was charged with one count of cruelty to animals, Ament said. More charges could be filed.

Hinnint told officials that he was a snake breeder and sold the animals at shows, but he did not have a permit, Ament said. Hinnint could also be charged for possessing the poisonous snakes, Ament said.

It was unclear how the reptiles died, Ament said, but Hinnint told officials he had not been at the home regularly in the past three weeks.

Deputies also found two dead ferrets in a cage, a dead rat in an aquarium and four tarantulas in food containers. Two were dead.

Animal control officials impounded all the animals, Ament said. "He was cooperative at the scene," he said. "He helped box everything up."

5-Year Term for Lying to Buy a Gun

A Hyattsville man has been sentenced to 70 months in prison for lying about his criminal record when he bought a shotgun at a College Park pawnshop in February, prosecutors said yesterday.

Mark Holt, 37, of the 1500 block of Madison Street, had pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt in June to being a felon in possession of a firearm and to lying on a background check.

Holt should not have been allowed to buy the gun because he was a convicted rapist and also was the subject of a protective order signed by a Prince George's County judge after his live-in girlfriend complained that he had physically abused her, according to prosecutors and court records. But a criminal-background check administered by the FBI failed to discover Holt's record before the federal three-day waiting period for gun purchases expired.

VIRGINIA

Arson Suspect Talks to Police

An Alexandria police employee charged with setting fires at police headquarters over the weekend told investigators that she started the fires using a substance concealed in a detergent bottle, according to court records filed yesterday.

Police charged Terrell Johnson, 27, a civilian employee, with arson Tuesday in connection with the fires. Johnson, a part-time records clerk since October 1994, was not scheduled to work when the fires broke out Sunday, police said.

A fire alarm inside police headquarters, at 2003 Mill Rd., went off at 3:52 a.m., and police said rescue workers saw smoke coming from a first-floor elevator. They also found a fire on the second floor and one that had extinguished itself on the third floor.

Police searched Johnson's home in the 4500 block of Airlie Way in Annandale and her 1989 Suzuki Swift in Alexandria. In the affidavit for a search warrant, police said Johnson "admitted to being the person responsible for causing the fires."

Police Believe Man in Creek Was Slain

An autopsy yesterday determined that the man found dead Tuesday in a shallow creek in Prince William County was killed by blunt-force trauma to the head, and police said they are treating the case as a homicide.

Detectives have not identified the middle-aged man, whose body was found by two children playing in a wooded area just outside the City of Manassas. The dead man was described as about 6-foot-1, 213 pounds, in his early fifties, with blond hair and blue eyes.