Neighbor to help stabbing victim

Businessman plans fund-raiser for teacher attacked in Owings Mills

April 20, 2001|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Steve Kallens doesn't know Cheri Luzer, but he knows her story. He has read the newspaper articles describing how she was attacked and stabbed nearly to death at her Owings Mills apartment last month.

"It happened so close to home," said Kallens, 42, who owns an Italian ice shop near the Morningside Heights apartments where Luzer lived. "It just hit me."

Kallens was so upset that he sought out the victim's mother in Pittsburgh and offered to help raise money for Luzer, who has yet to return to work as a special education teacher at Dundalk Middle School.

Luzer, 27, has accrued little sick leave or vacation time since she started teaching in August. Kallens said she needs help to cover expenses.

In addition, her family's finances have been drained as they shuttle between Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

Kallens will hold a fund-raiser for Luzer from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at his business, Carmen's Italian Ice and Frozen Custard, 11000 Owings Mills Blvd.

The shop owner has invited three high school bands - Voodoo Blue, Sovereign Shadow and Vickas - to perform at the fund-raiser and will hold a silent auction to raise money for the teacher and her family.

Prizes include a trip to a chiropractor's office and dog obedience lessons.

Luzer, who remembers nothing of the attack early on the morning of March 15, has been visiting her family in Pittsburgh. She returned to Dundalk two weeks ago to visit some of her pupils.

"We saw Cheri right before spring break," said Dundalk Middle Principal Frank J. Passaro. "She came in to see the kids and to talk to them. She still looked pretty beat up at the time. Her face was very swollen."

Police arrested Tavon Linnel Fullwood, 19, of Hillendale the day after the attack.

Fullwood has been indicted on multiple criminal charges, including attempted first-degree murder and assault. No court date has been set.

Luzer's lack of memory of the attack has made it difficult for police to establish a motive, said Bill Toohey, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Police Department. Interviews with Fullwood have been inconclusive.

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