The widow of WWE great Shad Gaspard is suing the City of Los Angeles over the death of the wrestler who drowned in the ocean at Venice Beach in May.
Gaspard, 39, was caught in a dangerous rip-tide while swimming with his 10 year-old son Aryeh. Lifeguards were able to save the boy, but not his 6ft 7in father.
This week the fighter’s wife, Siliana Gaspard, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of LA – plus LA County and the state of California – alleging ‘dangerous conditions’ at Venice Beach and ‘negligence’.
She claims that there were not enough signs to warn Gaspard and his son – called A.G. in the lawsuit – of the ‘danger or risk’ of swimming there.
In WWE star Shad Gaspard’s final moment, he threw his 10-year-old son Aryeh to a lifeguard to be rescued after the two were swept out to sea in a rip current at Venice Beach in May
DailyMail.com can reveal that Gaspard’s widow Siliana Gaspard has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles. Siliana was seen leaving Venice Beach being comforted by close friends after a tragic incident
She alleges that lifeguards were slow to react, poorly trained, understaffed and lacking proper equipment.
When lifeguards ‘saw Shad and A.G. struggling in the water,’ Siliana says in court documents filed at LA Superior Court , they ‘did not do anything for an unreasonable and negligent amount of time.’
In a tribute post, Siliana described Shad as a ‘real life superhero’ and ‘a bright force of nature, who brought joy to many’
The would-be rescuers ‘eventually went into the water but without the proper equipment for their duties to assist people in the water like Shad Gaspard and A.G.’
The lifeguards ‘chose to only assist A.G. and left Shad Gaspard in the water to die.’
According to a police report at the time of the tragedy, ‘When last seen by the lifeguard, a wave had crashed over him (Gaspard) and he was swept out to sea.’ His lifeless body was later found near the shoreline.
In her lawsuit, Siliana Gaspard also alleges that on that fateful day, May 17, lifeguard stations at Venice Beach were ‘negligently understaffed compared to how they normally are.’
And she claims in court documents that the defendants – LA city and county and the state – ‘were negligent in the lack of proper training and supervision’ and ‘were negligent in the hiring, retaining, training and supervision’ of its lifeguards and other staff.
‘The defendants’ activities, or lack thereof’, she adds, ‘increased the degree of dangerousness of the condition of the scene, causing the death of Shad Gaspard.’
Siliana is seeking unspecified financial damages and burial costs. A hearing has been scheduled for June 6, 2021 at LA Superior Court.
She alleges ‘dangerous conditions’ at Venice Beach and ‘negligence’. She claims that there were not enough signs to warn Gaspard and his son Aryeh of the ‘danger or risk ‘ of swimming there’
Gaspard – who was originally known in the WWF – now WWE – as Da Beast in the tag team Cryme Tyme with partner JTG – quit pro wrestling 10 years ago to begin an acting career in TV and movies. He was in 2015’s Get Hard with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart.
In a tribute to Gaspard, former wrestler turned movie star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson said, ‘Shad drowned in the ocean, but not before instructing lifeguards to save his son first. That’s the love of a father.’
They added: ‘His main concern was the safety of his son. He did everything he could to protect his boy.’
At the time of the drowning, Lifeguard Services told DailyMail.com in an exclusive that the boy was about ’25-35 yards out when the lifeguard rescued him.’
But the time the lifeguard went back out to rescue Shad, the rip current had pulled him out an additional 50-65 yards, making him almost 100 yards off shore.
‘This all happened in just a moment’s notice,’ they said.
Gaspard – who was originally known in the WWF – now WWE – as Da Beast in the tag team Cryme Tyme with partner JTG – quit pro wrestling 10 years ago to begin an acting career in TV and movie. Siliana is seeking unspecified financial damages and burial costs
Siliana remained on the beach while the search continued for Shad and was seen staring out into the ocean while the coast guard conducted a search
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office said Gaspard was found on the surfline at 2600 Ocean Walk – one mile north from where he drowned.
His body was identified and transported to the LA County Coroner’s office.
While Shad remained missing, Siliana issued a statement on Instagram thanking authorities for their efforts, while holding on to hope for her husband’s safe return.
‘We would like to express our gratitude to the first responders who rescued Aryeh and to the lifeguards, coast guard, divers, fire and police departments for their continued efforts to help find our beloved Shad,’ the statement said.
‘Shad is a fighter, a warrior and a magical soul. We are hoping and praying for his safe return. As a family we thank you all for your concern and well wishes. Please continue to keep sending your positivity and prayers to our beloved Shad.’