Man in custody in chainsaw attack against neighbor

A suspect is in custody this morning in connection with a chainsaw attack against a man outside his Washington Heights home, police said.

The 50-year-old man was taken into custody late Wednesday and no charges had been filed as of this morning, according to Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer.

The victim, Preston Smith, 55, told his mother he was sitting outside his home early Wednesday morning, drinking with a neighbor and friend of more than 40 years, when the two "had a couple of words" and the friend came at him with a chainsaw.

Smith was badly cut on his hand and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he underwent surgery in hopes of saving his fingers, according to his mother Mildred Smith.

Preston and the friend were in the backyard in the 1000 block of 103rd Street when they got into an argument around 2 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

"He said they were just out there," Mildred Smith said. "One, they were drinking. And he was getting ready to leave and they had a couple of words. He went and sat in his car and he (the neighbor) came out of his backyard with a chainsaw."

Asked why the neighbor attacked her son, Mildred Smith said, "He didn't say. He just said they had a couple of words."

Smith said her son and the neighbor have known each other since they were children. "They grew up together."

WGN-TV contributed

asege@tribune.com

Twitter: @AdamSege

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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