Weather Updates

Chain saw-wielding man slashes neighbor’s hand

Updated: September 23, 2013 2:08PM

An achy Preston Smith was in a hospital bed Wednesday, trying to figure out what on earth would make his friend of 40 years attack him with a snarling chain saw.

“I think he got a little intoxicated — a lot intoxicated,” Smith said from his hospital bed at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Smith, who lives on the Far South Side, said he’d just finished his shift as a city Streets and Sanitation driver Tuesday night, and had gone for a beer at his buddy’s house in the 1000 block of West 103rd Street.

“We were sitting back there,” Smith, 55, recalled. “He was just talking, just talking crap.”

Smith said he suspects his friend was depressed after losing a job as a car salesman. But Smith said he has no idea if he said something in particular that irked his longtime pal.

At some point, Smith got up to leave and walked over to his car.

“I was sitting in my car. I was going to leave,” Smith said. “He came with the chain saw. He chainsawed my car, and then I pushed the door open to get him back. I got out so I could get away. He just started swiping at me, and he cut my hand.”

By the time officers arrived at the home, the chain-saw-wielding man had fled. Smith, however, needed medical attention and was taken to Christ Medical Center for the injury to his hand. Smith’s left fingers were cut, but still attached police said. Smith was listed in stable condition.

On Wednesday morning, Smith said, “I’m really in a lot of pain.”

No one was in custody as Area South detectives investigated.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.