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Chainsaw Attack Victim Forgives Friend, But Won’t Forget

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Preston Smith suffered a gash on his left hand when his longtime friend Anthony Metcalf attacked him with a chainsaw. (Credit: CBS)

Preston Smith suffered a gash on his left hand when his longtime friend Anthony Metcalf attacked him with a chainsaw. (Credit: CBS)

Updated 08/23/13 – 1:12 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – The 55-year-old man who suffered a gash on his left hand earlier this week when his longtime friend drunkenly attacked him with a chainsaw said he forgives his pal, but won’t forget what happened.

Preston Smith said he didn’t see it coming when Anthony Metcalf, his friend and neighbor of 30 years, attacked him with a chainsaw early Wednesday.

“Very scary. I mean, frightening,” he said.

Metcalf has been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, after attacking Smith with a chainsaw in the Washington Heights neighborhood around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

He was ordered held on $300,000 bond on Friday. During his bond hearing, it was revealed that witnesses recorded cell phone video of the attack.

Anthony Metcalf (Credit: Chicago Police)

Anthony Metcalf (Credit: Chicago Police)

Defense attorney Michael Levinsohn said what happened was the result of Metcalf and Smith drinking, but he said his client has not offered an explanation for his behavior.

“We have not gotten into that yet,” he said.

Smith’s left hand was wrapped in a bandage Friday morning as he recalled the attack for reporters before leaving Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was treated for an injury to his hand.

Smith said he and Metcalf were drinking in Metcalf’s back yard before the attack.

“He was pretty well drunk,” Smith said.

Smith said when he brought up the $30 he claimed Metcalf owed him, Metcalf became enraged.

“He got up in my face, he was spitting all in my face,” Smith said. “He kept getting irate with me.”

He got in his car to leave, and that’s when Metcalf allegedly attacked.

“Next thing I know, it’s a chainsaw in my face,” he said.

Smith said he pushed Metcalf away with the car door, and tried to run away, but Metcalf swung he chainsaw at him as he was getting out of the car. The saw cut deep into his left hand as he shielded his face.

“I don’t know what was going through his mind. Was he trying to kill me, or whatever,” Smith said.

Dr. Gary Kronen, a hand surgeon, performed a complex microsurgery procedure to repair Smith’s hand. The saw damaged muscle, arteries, tendons, and a bone in his index finger.

“I think his prognosis is good. I think a lot of it is going to depend on the hard work he’s going to need to do with his occupational therapy program,” Kronen said.

Kronen said doctors are hopeful Smith will regain use of his hand.

Smith left the hospital Friday morning, but will need another surgery in about six weeks to remove pins placed in his index finger to help repair the fracture. He’ll need at least three or four months of physical therapy after that.

Smith said he forgives Metcalf for the attack, but he won’t forget it.

Metcalf was due in court for a bond hearing on Friday.

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