You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The Shocking Arrest of ‘Barney & Friends’ Creator’s Son

Showbiz CheatSheet logo: MainLogo Showbiz CheatSheet 11/27/2022 Brenda Alexander

Barney the purple dinosaur brought much joy to children worldwide with the television program. Through laughter, smiles, and music, Barney & Friends provided a fun and educational experience for kids, keeping them captivated by his energy. But behind the song “I Love You” was a troubled young man the series was inspired by. 

Barney and Baby Bop | Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank © Provided by Showbiz CheatSheet Barney and Baby Bop | Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank

The son of the creator eventually landed in prison. Leading up to his arrest, he’d reporetdly showed signs that he was on a troubled path.

Why ‘Barney & Friends’ was created

In 1988, Sheryl Leach created Barney the Dinosaur to keep her 2-year-old son Patrick Leach occupied. At the time, she was a newlywed and a full-time mom who couldn’t find any stimulating children’s programs for Patrick. Initially, Barney was envisioned to be a bear. But she learned that Patrick loved dinosaurs, and she decided to make him a purple Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Replay Video
Source: YouTube

Sheryl created Barney & Friends alongside Kathy Parker and Dennis DeShazer. The program was first released via a series of home videos called Barney and the Backyard Gang, which were sold directly to the public in her hometown of Texas through door-to-door marketing from other moms whose children loved the video.

From there, things took off. In 1992, the series Barney & Friends premiered on PBS. Sheryl left the show in 1998 as Patrick aged to focus on her family. The show ran through 2010.

Patrick Leach ended up having a troubled path and was arrested for shooting a neighbor

According to insiders who appeared in the Peacock documentary I Love You, You Hate Me, Patrick grew to have a love/hate relationship with Barney. He also reportedly yearned for more time with his mom, as he was primarily raised by his father at home as his mother worked to promote the show.

Sheryl and Patrick’s father, Jim, divorced in 2001. He died by suicide in 2004. Jim’s death had an impact on Patrick. 

Replay Video
Source: YouTube

As he aged, Patrick reportedly began to have issues. But no one expected what happened in 2013 to happen. Patrick was arrested for shooting his neighbor Erick Shanks after a dispute about Erick trespassing on Patrick’s Malibu mansion. Shanks survived the wounds.

At the time, Patrick was 27. He was pulled over by police on the Pacific Coast Highway, and a search found he had a loaded handgun and rifle with him in the car. Patrick was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2015 after pleading no contest to the charges. His sentence was commuted to 5 to 8 years.

He was released from prison 

Per the documentary, Patrick was released from prison in 2020. He is still living in the same Malibu house and remains engaged to the mother of his two children. 

Sheryl moved to Turk’s & Caicos. There, she reportedly owns and operates restaurants. For some time, Patrick worked there before the 2013 incident. Sheryl didn’t participate in the Peacock documentary. 

Sheryl has spent much of her time since stepping away from the show in philanthropy. She founded an organization and is also dedicated to land preservation, owning a farm in South Africa.

RELATED: Why Trina Braxton Recently Filed Police Report

Read the original article from Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Showbiz CheatSheet

Showbiz CheatSheet: MainLogo
Showbiz CheatSheet
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon