Chicago police appealed yesterday for the surrender of a man who fatally wounded one of two youths trying to steal his groceries at knifepoint.

Earl Johnson, commander of the West Side's Area 4 Violent Crimes, compared the Thursday night shooting with the shooting of four youths on a New York City subway last month.

"I understand the man in New York surrendered himself . . . . I'm hoping our man here will do the same to help us," Johnson said. "Witnesses are very favorable to the man at this point."

The youth, identified as Detrick Wallace, 18, died yesterday at University of Illinois Hospital of a gunshot wound to the head, a spokesman said. Witnesses said a man believed to be between 55 and 60 years old was on his way home from a neighborhood store, apparently aware that he was being followed by two youths wearing ski masks, Johnson said.

One of them drew a knife and attempted to grab one of the grocery bags, Johnson said. The older man then produced a pistol and fired at least three shots, striking Wallace in the head, Johnson said.

Also Thursday night in Chicago, a man waiting for a bus stabbed a woman who had slashed him with a switchblade after demanding money and his watch.

The man, Carl Hamby, 76, told police that the woman, 19, slashed him and nicked his coat because he did not hand over his valuables fast enough. The woman, who was stabbed in the arm, will be charged with armed robbery, police said, without identifying her.

"I think he did the right thing," Patrolman Robert J. Vosnos said. "He was complying with her demands. Only when she started slashing did he retaliate."

In New York, two actors who were to perform in a benefit performance for a fund in the name of an actress slain last month were beaten and kicked by a gang that did not speak to them, the victims said yesterday.

Linda Nelson, 26, of Ogden, Utah, and Sergio Bertolli, 39, of San Francisco, said they were beaten by the gang about noon Thursday outside a Manhattan high school. Bertolli required plastic surgery to repair damage to his left eye. Nelson was bruised over much of her body. They were to debut in a show entitled "Goodbye Rome." Proceeds were to be donated to the Caroline Isenberg Fund, named after an actress slain on an apartment rooftop last month during an attempted rape.

The couple was walking past two high schools when students began emerging from one of them, the High School for Graphic Arts.

"I'm looking down in the snow so I don't slip and this man walked right into me," Bertolli said. "I turned him to my left and said 'What the hell are you doing,' and Linda began pulling on my arm. I could see these other guys taking positions and I thought, 'Oh my God, what's going on?' "

Bertolli said the teen-ager who bumped him struck him in the face and knocked him down and the others started kicking him.

"It was like a pack of wolves," Nelson said. "They were just out to beat somebody. Right now I think it's a very angry city, with this vigilante stuff going on right now."