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Lawsuit Accuses Barney Creator’s Son of Shooting Neighbor

It seems like Barney’s family could use a great big hug! (And maybe a kiss from me to you.)

Sheryl Leach, who invented everyone’s favorite (or least favorite) purple dinosaur in 1992, and her son Patrick Leach, 27, were served with a lawsuit for assault and battery and negligence, E! News reports.

On the morning of January 9, Sheryl’s neighbor Eric Shanks alleges in the lawsuit, Patrick was in his car on Sheryl’s property when he “intentionally and recklessly” shot Eric in the chest. The lawsuit claims that Patrick “intended to place [Eric] in apprehension of great bodily harm,” and Eric claims that his bodily injuries “caused and continue to cause [him] great mental, physical, and nervous pain and suffering.”

So why is Sheryl being sued, too? The document alleges, she “knew or should have known that her son [...] had dangerous propensities and habits for violence,” and that she “permitted [her son] to own and maintain fire arms at her property.”

Eric is suing for general damages, medical expenses, lost wages, legal fees, punitive damages, and “further relief as the court may deem proper.”

Before you ask: In addition to the lawsuit, Patrick is also charged with one count of attempted murder and another count of assault with a semi-automatic firearm. E! News reports that his criminal court date is April 25.

This seems like a sad day for the family behind Barney, and for friendship in general! Here’s hoping that we all learn to be better neighbors.

04.19.2013 / 07:04 AM EDT by Sarah Anne Lloyd
Related: News, TV Nostalgia, Weird News

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