THE DISTRICT

Child abuse lawsuit: The mother of a D.C. public school student has filed a lawsuit against the city saying the boy's teacher kicked him and then ordered other students to do so.

The incident occurred Nov. 14, 2001, at Green Elementary in Southeast, according to the lawsuit filed in D.C. Superior Court last week.

The student was 5 and in kindergarten at the time, said his attorney, Craig D. Miller.

Steven G. Seleznow, the school system's chief of staff, said the teacher accidentally kicked the student while trying to break up a fight.

Seleznow said the student had been kicking other students. "The teacher said, 'Well, if the student kicks you, you should kick him back,' " Seleznow said. "Some students went to kick him back. The teacher went to intervene." Seleznow said the teacher was suspended for four days and given a reprimand.

HOMICIDES

* A Southeast Washington man was found fatally shot about 6:40 a.m. yesterday in the rear of a building in the 4200 block of Southern Avenue SE. Kareem Jackson, 23, of the 1500 block of Fort Davis Place SE, had been shot more than once in the head, police said.

VIRGINIA

Robbery acquittal: The head of a national organization of bounty hunters was acquitted Wednesday by a Fairfax County jury of robbing a Falls Church couple at gunpoint.

Mel Barth, 68, owns Boxer Bail Bonds in Falls Church and also is director of the National Association of Bail Enforcement Agents, a 2,500-member group that advocates training and formal licensing of bounty hunters.

Barth and another bondsman, Eric Woolley, were arrested after a Jan. 31 incident in which they picked up Efram Kifle to revoke his bond and return him to jail.

Kifle and his girlfriend, Regbe Asefaw, testified that Barth wielded a pistol and took an envelope containing $1,000 from Kifle.

Barth testified that he handed the envelope to Kifle during the arrest and never had a gun. He was charged with two counts of robbery and one count of using a firearm during a felony. The jury could not reach a verdict on the second robbery charge.

Arson information sought: Federal and local fire officials have sent 70,000 letters to residents of Fairfax and Loudoun counties asking for help in solving a string of arson fires at construction sites.

Officials said more than a dozen blazes that have occurred since the summer of 2000 in Reston, Herndon and Ashburn are believed to be the work of a serial arsonist.

The most recent fire occurred in April. Authorities set up a toll-free hotline, 888-283-3473.

Compiled from reports by staff writers.