MARYLAND

Man Held in School Bus Hijacking

An unarmed man hijacked a Prince George's County school bus in Chillum yesterday and led police on a short chase before crashing the bus into a car, Prince George's police said. No one was reported injured.

Police said nine children, the driver and an aide were riding the bus about 3:30 p.m. when a man climbed in an open window as the vehicle paused at Sargent and Chillum roads.

The driver and aide tried to get the students off the bus, said Cpl. Irene Huskens, a police spokeswoman. But when a patrol officer in a cruiser pulled up to see what was going on, the hijacker sped off with four children still aboard.

The bus hit a car two blocks away, and police arrested the man at the wheel. Charges were pending last night, police said.

The children were on their way home from the Children's Guild of Hyattsville, which provides special education programs.

Ex-Columbia Official Jailed for Theft

A former Columbia official who admitted stealing almost $65,000 from community coffers over four years was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in a Howard County jail.

Anne Darrin is the former village manager of Dorsey's Search, one of 10 villages that make up the privately run community of Columbia. She made a tearful plea to be spared jail, saying she already had lost her home, job and community respect.

Darrin admitted in September that she had falsified village accounting records to hide her theft. Much of the money went to help her son's coffeehouse in Baltimore, according to court documents.

THE DISTRICT

Man Acquitted of Assaulting Mayor's Kin

A D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday acquitted Gabriel Hess of assaulting Asantewa Foster, his former girlfriend and the stepdaughter of D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams.

"Obviously, something did occur," Judge Reggie B. Walton declared at the end of a nonjury trial. But he said that he could not determine who was the aggressor and that the evidence was too thin to convict Hess.

Walton said he did not entirely believe Hess's version of the Aug. 30 incident in the apartment Foster and Hess shared in the 200 block of I Street SW. He granted a request for a civil protection order, requiring Hess, 27, to stay away from Foster, 24, for 12 months.

Foster alleged that Hess kicked her and hit her 10 times in the face during an argument in their apartment.

VIRGINIA

Herndon Man Convicted of Manslaughter

A 22-year-old Herndon man who said he killed another man in self-defense was convicted in Fairfax County yesterday of voluntary manslaughter.

On May 17, after police found the body of Michael T. Petruska, 20, in the doorway of a house in the 13900 block of Westmore Street in Chantilly, Sean L. Robertson directed them to a handgun and later admitted that he had shot Petruska three times. He told police he thought Petruska was an intruder. But Robertson was indicted in September on a murder charge.

At his trial this week, Robertson testified that he thought Petruska was assaulting Diana Schipper, who had been dating both men. Robertson said Schipper's screaming at 2 a.m. awoke him, that he grabbed his gun, ran into the living room and shot Petruska. He acknowledged that he did not give Petruska any warning before firing.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Mark C. Simmons argued for a first-degree murder verdict, saying Robertson was "dripping with malice against Michael Petruska" as a romantic rival. But after seven hours of deliberation over two days, the jury decided on a verdict of voluntary manslaughter. The jury is to return today to recommend a sentence .