Family, friends mourn painter hit by driver fleeing police; 21-year-old art student called intense, talented


Fellow students, friends and family members yesterday mourned the death of Marc David Levy, a promising painter with an eccentric flair who was killed Friday when a driver fleeing police slammed into his car.

Levy, who turned 21 last month, was a senior painting major at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, a school of 1,200 in downtown Baltimore.

Levy was driving his Honda Civic when a 1999 Nissan Altima with at least two police cruisers following it ran a red light at East 27th and St. Paul streets and broadsided him.

Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a Baltimore police spokeswoman, said police had recognized the driver of the Altima and, knowing that he did not have a driver's license, pulled him over near Barclay Elementary School at East 29th and Barclay streets. The driver fled, and police cruisers followed, Cooper said.

A 17-year-old with no driver's license was charged with vehicular homicide. A court hearing was scheduled for tomorrow to determine whether the youth will be charged as an adult.

Police found 18 bags of a rock-like white substance, believed to be cocaine, in the Nissan, Cooper said.

Yesterday, relatives gathered with Levy's parents, Stephen and Miriam, and their other son, Jason, 17, at their Reisterstown home amid oil-on-canvas self-portraits Levy had painted. They recalled the young man as "intense," "talented," "driven" and "eclectic."

Marlene Berman, an aunt, said Levy had tried Little League baseball and soccer as a youth, but soon gravitated toward art. "He was always artistic, as soon as he could put a crayon in his hand and do something with it," she said.

Peter Drake, a New York painter who taught at the institute last year, remembered Levy's vivid paintings, which Drake described as intimate and autobiographical, yet cryptic and "funky."

Services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sol Levinson & Bros. Funeral Home, 8900 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville.

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