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Arrest made following drunken chain saw attack

Updated: August 22, 2013 11:18AM

Police have arrested a 50-year-old man believed to have drunkenly attacked his best friend with a chain saw on the far South Side early Wednesday morning.

Several hours after the attack, an achy Preston Smith was in a hospital bed, nursing a hand laceration while trying to figure out what on earth made 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.

That man, who has not yet been charged, was arrested sometime overnight, police announced Thursday morning.

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.

Just before 2 a.m., 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 Washington Park neighborhood 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.”

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