Washington Redskins wide receiver Ricky Sanders was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault yesterday in connection with an incident in the parking lot of a Houston topless bar May 1. Sanders also faces a civil suit in the matter.

Sanders is scheduled to report to the Redskins' training camp in Carlisle, Pa., Sunday, and last night team officials said they expected him to be there. They had no other public comment.

Judge Donald Shipley set bond at $5,000, and Sanders was expected to appear and post it today. He'll be fingerprinted at that time and then released.

Although Redskins officials privately said they are taking the incident very seriously, pointing out they constantly warn players about such things, they also expressed confidence in Sanders, saying the matter may not be as bad as it appears.

"He was in a bad position," a team source said, "but that doesn't mean he's guilty. He wouldn't be the first high-profile athlete to be targeted because a guy sees a way to make a quick buck."

The Redskins also were skeptical because the incident happened more than 2 1/2 months ago, and attorneys on both sides say discussions aimed toward a settlement had taken place.

Sam Jamus, 28, the owner of a Houston valet parking service, claims Sanders struck him with his Cadillac after the two argued over the disappearance of two hub caps that Sanders said had been on the car when he left it with the valet attendants.

The incident occured at The Men's Club in Houston. Jamus told police officers that when Sanders left the club, he noticed two hub caps missing from his gold-toned Cadillac Fleetwood.

He argued with the parking lot attendant, and when Jamus heard the argument, he walked over. He said Sanders threatened him, and that after Sanders returned to his car and began to drive out of the parking area, he turned the auto toward Jamus and struck him from the rear. Jamus said he rolled across the hood of the car and hit the pavement. He claims to have suffered a concussion and other injuries.

Sanders's attorney said Jamus exaggerated, and that while the two men did argue, Sanders never knowingly injured Jamus. Sources indicate Sanders will claim that either Jamus initiated contact with the car or that it was an outside mirror that struck Jamus.

"If Ricky had known the man was hurt, he would never have left the scene," Houston attorney Cindy Henley said. "He absolutely had no intent of causing injury and you have to have intent to commit those crimes. Ricky's passenger said there's no way he rolled over the hood of the car."

Each side said it had witnesses to support its version of the incident.

The case file, which was handled by Lt. Donna Miller of the Houston Police Dept., will be referred to a grand jury next week. Attempted murder is a second-degree felony in Texas and can carry a prison term of from two to 20 years. Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony and carries a penalty of two to 10 years. Both charges carry fines of up to $20,000. Persons sentenced to fewer than 10 years in Texas are entitled to probation.

Legal sources say that even if an indictment is returned, 90 percent of such cases are settled before reaching court and that Sanders's biggest worry may be the civil suit San Antonio attorney Tom Hall will file on Jamus's behalf next week.

Hall declined to name a dollar amount for the suit. "I could give you one," he said, "but it wouldn't be relevant. You don't have to do that in Texas and, in this case, the medical bills are still mounting."

Hall said he had attempted to settle the case before. "We wanted to resolve this amicably," he said. "That has been unsuccessful. To tell you the truth, they've been so unresponsive, I can't say what their thinking has been. They've taken it lightly and are not concerned about it. {Jamus} suffered a concussion. He suffered severe injury to internal organs."

Jamus was taken to Twelve Oaks Hospital, where he remained in intensive care for three days. His attorney, George Tyson of Houston, said he remained in the hospital five days and was sent home for "several weeks" of bed rest. Tyson said Jamus had only recently returned to work, on a part-time basis.

Sanders was unavailable for comment. Team officials said he worked out at Redskin Park Thursday and believes he'll be able to take part in virtually all training camp practices. After posting bond today, he has to return to Houston for a hearing if no plea-bargain agreement is reached by then.

Sanders, 28, signed a three-year, $1.95-million contract last summer and fulfilled team expectations by being a member of the Redskins' record-breaking wide receiver trio, catching 80 passes and scoring four touchdowns. With Sanders, Art Monk and Gary Clark, the Redskins became the first team in history to have three 1,000-yard receivers. His 80 catches were the fifth-highest total in the NFC.

Redskins Notes: The team was left with one fewer unsigned veteran yesterday when center Jeff Bostic agreed to a two-year deal that includes an option year for 1992. Bostic, 31, said it was "a safe bet" this would be his final contract.. . .

Dexter Manley said he was disappointed that he will not be allowed to sign with a Canadian Football League team, adding: "It's just not fair. I ought to have the right to make a living." Manley, banned from the NFL for substance-abuse violations, can't sign with the CFL because he has six games remaining on his Washington contract.