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Saturday, July 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Family Says Chainsaw|Prank Wasn’t Funny

OMAHA (CN) - A trick-or-treater was hit by a truck while being chased by a man revving a chainsaw, and an insurer refuses to cover it, her family claims in court.

Santos Garcia sued American Family Insurance and the man he claims chased his daughter into the street on Halloween night 2011.

Leslie Garcia was trick-or-treating after dark with friends when they walked into a trap set by defendant Frank Alba, the family says.

Knowing that children would be coming by, Alba hid outside a friend's south Omaha home decorated for the holiday and waited for trick-or-treaters, the family says in its May 20 lawsuit in Douglas County Court.

Alba "wore a hooded sweatshirt, a white apron stained with red 'blood' streaks, and wielded a real, live chainsaw," the Garcias say.

They claim that Alba revved the chainsaw as the children approached, scaring the dickens out of them. They fled in different directions.

Leslie Garcia fled into 36th Street, where she was struck by a Ford F250 truck, injuring her head, neck, arms, legs, back, and spine. Some of the injuries are permanent, the family says.

They add: "It was foreseeable and predictable that defendant Alba dressed as a chain[saw] massacre murderer wielding a live, running chainsaw and chasing children could result in children fleeing in all directions, including into 36th Street, a known busy street, and such could result in serious harm or death to children."

Garcia says her daughter can expect to suffer pain from the accident throughout her life.

He claims that American Family Insurance Co. refused to engage in good faith negotiations to settle the claim, and that Alba was a guest at a home insured by American Family, and conspired with its owners to pull the prank on neighborhood children.

The Garcias also sued the homeowner, Hilda Martinez, claiming she negligently failed to stop the horseplay before someone was hurt, and Daryl Divoky, who was driving the truck.

They are represented by Grant Forsberg.

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