Brookhaven Student Sues Coca Cola Over Spring Break Beating on South Padre Island
Back in March, Derek Madrigal, a 21-year-old student at Brookhaven Community College, was viciously beaten and stabbed by around a dozen people after he tried to defend a woman who was being harassed. The group of men beat Madrigal with cooler lids and stabbed him nine times, landing him in the ICU. Some very bloody and disturbing video footage of the attack, which you'll find after the jump, was widely circulated, in the hopes that it would lead to identifying the suspects.
It's not clear whether it was the video that did the trick, but eleven members of the Texas Mexican Mafia, a San Antonio-based prison gang, were arrested in the attack in April, while three more are still being sought.
Now, as Courthouse News reports, Madrigal has filed suit in Cameron County Court against Coca Cola, which was sponsoring the party where the attack took place. His complaint states that Coke provided inadequate security at the event and allowed "gang members to roam freely among the thousands of college-age men and women."
Madrigal's complaint outlines the attack in detail, which began at a party called "Coca-Cola Beach," which subheads itself as the "largest spring break venue in the nation." It was there that Madrigal encountered a group of men "talking rudely to a young woman" and politely asked them to stop, it says. (The woman has variously been described as Madrigal's girlfriend and his female friend in different media accounts). "Unfortunately," the complaint goes on, "the gang of men responded violently and the situation immediately turned dangerous."
One of the men swung at Derek and hit the woman instead, knocking her to the ground. At that point, Madrigal "engaged the man and attempted to ward him off in self-defense." He soon found himself being beaten and stabbed by a large group. 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."
Madrigal suffered a collapsed lung and tendon damage in his arms in addition to his nine stab wounds. He subsequently withdrew from Brookhaven to focus on his recovery.
Madrigal is also suing Isla Grand Beach Resort, where the event took place. The complaint states that the Texas Mexican Mafia members had been "disrupting, harassing and intimidating other invitees for several days prior to the attack on Derek." It continues:
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 is seeking unspecified damages. We're trying to get in touch with him for comment, and will update if we hear back.
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