Dental student fatally stabbed after trying to stop robber


A University of Maryland dental student who was to have graduated this week was stabbed to death in Southwest Baltimore early yesterday after chasing a man who had stolen a friend's purse, police said.

Christian W. Ludwig, 26, of the 600 block of Portland St. died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center from stab wounds to his upper abdomen, said Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a police spokeswoman.

Ludwig had chased the man who stole the purse from a female friend just before 3 a.m., Cooper said.

The woman, a classmate of Ludwig's, was walking to Ludwig's home in Ridgelys Delight to attend a party when she was accosted by the man in the 200 block of Emory St.

The man tried to take the purse and, after a struggle, took out a knife. The woman then let go of the purse, Cooper said.

She ran to Ludwig's house, around the corner from where the incident took place, police said.

Ludwig and another man at the party ran from the Portland Street home to where the struggle between the woman and robber had taken place. They chased the man and tried to take back the purse after catching him in the 200 block of Emory St., next to the Babe Ruth Museum, police said.

The man then stabbed Ludwig. The other man was unhurt, Cooper said.

Ludwig was taken to Shock Trauma, where he was pronounced dead at 5: 04 a.m., a hospital spokeswoman said.

"He was well-respected as a clinician and a researcher," said Jo Martin, a spokeswoman for the University of Maryland, Baltimore. "He was known as very upbeat. He was particularly well-liked by his patients."

Ludwig, who was to have graduated from the dental school this Friday, had a small party at his home Friday night that spilled into yesterday morning, police said.

Board exams, the last academic obligation of the year, had ended Friday, Martin said.

"It's so unfortunate to lose someone who's so talented so tragically, so unnecessarily, so quickly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of his life," Martin said.

Ludwig, who was from Chicago, graduated from University of Maryland, College Park. He was preparing to begin a postdoctoral fellowship studying gum diseases at Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles, Martin said.

Police said the robber is an African-American man with a stocky build and dark complexion, 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, wearing a dark knit cap and a blue or black nylon jacket.

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