‘I thought I could die’: Bartender testifies in Elmhurst murder trial, says he was scared of being hurt by victim

Editor’s note: An earlier version had an incorrect first name for Evan Wilcek and an incorrect age for Dunbar.

A bartender who threw two brothers out of an Elmhurst bar — one of whom was stabbed minutes later by a patron — testified Wednesday that he was scared the brothers would injure or kill him as he struggled with them.

Evan Wilcek testified for the defense in the trial of Ronald Dunbar, 58, of Lombard. Dunbar is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Karl Bomba, 28, of Yorkville.

It happened around 6 p.m. on April 10, 2021, outside the Spring Inn bar on Spring Road in Elmhurst.

  An April 2021 fight that began inside the Spring Inn bar in Elmhurst, then spilled outside, left a 28-year-old Yorkville man dead and Ronald Dunbar facing a first-degree murder charge. Brian Hill/, 2022

Bomba, his girlfriend and his brother, Kurt, had come to the Spring Inn after leaving a wine bar across the street.

Wilcek said he asked them to leave after repeatedly asking them to pull up their face masks, after one of the Bombas and the woman had gone into the ladies’ restroom together, and one of the brothers pulled Wilcek’s face mask off and called him an epithet.

When one of the brothers put Wilcek in a headlock, Wilcek wiggled out and pushed both of them out the front door.

He testified Dunbar tried to help him, but one of the brothers punched Dunbar in the face.

Wilcek testified one of the brothers hit and cracked one large window, one punched at glass in the door, and one punched another window, shattering it. He could not identify which brother did what. The brothers looked alike, he testified. They were twins.

“I was scared, and I was frustrated. At one point, I thought I could die. I could get hurt or die,” Wilcek said. He testified that the brothers also tried to punch him outside.

On cross-examination, DuPage County Assistant State’s Attorney Rob Willis asked how scared Wilcek really was, given that he went outside several times after ejecting the Bombas and locking the front door. Wilcek testified he was determined to get photos of the license plate on the vehicle, which was parked across the street.

The prosecution rested its case early Wednesday afternoon. Judge Ann Celine O’Hallaren Walsh then denied a request by Dunbar’s attorney, Paul DeLuca, to immediately rule Dunbar was not guilty.

On Wednesday morning, an Elmhurst police officer who searched Dunbar at the police station testified he saw a blood stain in a pocket of the jeans Dunbar was wearing. DNA testing showed the blood was Bomba’s.

Dunbar is alleged to have used a folding buck knife with a 3½-inch blade to stab Bomba once in the chest. Bomba died two days later.

The trial resumes Thursday morning.

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