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Saturday, June 15, 2024 | Back issues
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Spring Breaker Blames Coca-Cola for Attack

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (CN) - A chivalrous spring breaker sued Coca-Cola and a South Padre Island beach resort, claiming a Texas prison gang stabbed him nine times and beat him with picnic coolers after he asked them not to be rude to a young woman.

Derek Madrigal sued Coca-Cola and the Isla Grand Beach Resort, in Cameron County Court.

Madrigal, a college student, claims the defendant party sponsors provided inadequate security at this year's spring break and allowed "gang members to roam freely among the thousands of college-age men and women."

The event at "Coca-Cola Beach" is advertised as the "largest spring break venue in the nation," Madrigal says in his complaint.

He says things turned sour when he "encountered a gang of men rudely talking to a young woman. Derek, seeking a peaceful resolution, intervened and politely asked them to stop harassing the young woman and return to their own tented area. Unfortunately, the gang of men responded violently and the situation immediately turned dangerous," according to the complaint.

"One of the men, in an attempt to strike Derek, struck the young woman in the head and she fell to the ground. Derek, fearing for his safety and those of the young woman, engaged the man and attempted to ward him off in self-defense. After some altercation, Derek found himself surrounded by no less than nine gang members and he was helpless in stopping the attack. Derek was severely beaten on virtually all parts of his body. He was struck on his head and body with picnic coolers. He was stabbed nine times. At one point a bystander attempted to pull Derek out of the fray and into another tent, but the violent gang relentlessly dragged him back and continued beating, stabbing and injuring him."

Smart-phone videos of the attack helped police identify the attackers. Police "concluded they were members of The Texas Mexican Mafia, a prison gang based in San Antonio," Madrigal says in his complaint.

He claims that gang members had been "disrupting, harassing and intimidating other invitees for several days prior to the attack on Derek. Based on their open and obvious behavior, an attack was inevitable. The gang's behavior clearly indicated they were seeking out altercation with other invitees, yet no security personnel intervened and removed the dangerous gang members from the premises."

Madrigal seeks punitive damages for negligence and premises liability.

He is represented by Scott R. Frieling, with Allen Stewart P.C., of Dallas.

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