Feb. 3, 2012, was supposed to be a night of celebrating a football teammate's birthday, but Willie Hayes testified Wednesday that he drank a lot and recalls very little of the night that ended with him being stabbed in the chest.
Hayes, now 25, testified for nearly three hours in the murder trial of Dan Olaska about the events that led to the stabbing of Hayes and bouncer Rafael Castenada, and the fatal stabbing of Shaun Wild.
Hayes, a North Central College defensive end, said he and a friend headed to Frankie's Blue Room in downtown Naperville about midnight Feb. 4, 2012, after several hours of drinking at his apartment and that of another player.
Hayes testified he was drunk: He downed at least four shots plus at least nine mixed drinks and beers that evening.
After being at the bar for little more than a half-hour, Hayes said he needed to sit and grabbed a seat in a booth already occupied by Olaska.
"I shook his hand and introduced myself and he introduced himself," Hayes said.
He testified that he does not recall if he and Olaska spoke or what they spoke about. Nor did he remember the much-reported conversation about Olaska making fun of Hayes' too-tight shirt or Hayes mocking Olaska "for drinking beer from a wineglass."
But he remembered that after several minutes, Olaska stood up and began waving his arms around, which made Hayes uncomfortable.
"I stood up to remove myself from the situation and I went to shake his hand," Hayes said. "Then I felt like I had been punched and I felt like I couldn't breathe. I put my hand on my chest and saw all this blood on my hands."
Hayes said he remembers some of his teammates and a coach applying pressure to the stab wound on his chest and then being wheeled out to an ambulance.
Prosecutors allege that after stabbing Hayes, Olaska fled and was chased and eventually caught by Wild.
Wild, a 2011 North Central College graduate and second-grade teacher in Naperville, was then stabbed in the heart, prosecutors said. Olaska then is accused of stabbing and injuring bouncer Rafael Castenada as bar staff members attempted to detain Olaska until police arrived.
Olaska is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon.
Olaska's attorneys, however, maintain he acted in self-defense after Hayes and other football players encircled him in the booth and threatened him.
During a painstaking frame-by-frame dissection of security footage that captured nearly all of the night's events at the bar, defense attorneys tried to get Hayes to admit that he was told by his friends to "lay down the law" and tell Olaska to "stop running his mouth."
Hayes said he did not recall nearly all of the actions shown on the footage, including the clips defense attorneys said show Hayes "hovering over" Olaska and "lunging" at him before the stabbing.
"No, sir. That's not the type of person I am," Hayes testified. "I wouldn't lunge. That's not the type of person I am."
Earlier in the day, Gina Gargaro, a 2008 graduate of North Central College, testified she and three friends were hanging out near the dance floor when Olaska came up on her out of nowhere and began calling her obscene names and yelling at her. The brief argument, she testified, was quelled when one of her male friends, another North Central football player, stood between her and Olaska.
Olaska's trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in courtroom 4007.