'No way to make sense' of Naperville teacher's slaying
There is no way to explain how or why a man with an advanced education, a job and no criminal record stands accused of murdering "a great young man," Naperville Police Chief Dave Dial said Sunday.
A day after popular Naperville grade schoolteacher Shaun Wild was stabbed to death while trying to intervene in an altercation at a Naperville nightclub, Dial and the entire community continued to struggle answering how a "nonsensical argument" spiraled into a violent death.
"There is simply no way to make any sense of this," Dial said. "I've never seen something that's made less sense than this, and frankly, I have a long police career. It's a tragic loss for the entire Naperville community."
DuPage County Judge Neal Cerne set bond Sunday at $3 million for Naperville resident Daniel Olaska, who faces a charge of first-degree murder alleging he fatally stabbed Wild early Saturday morning at Frankie's Blue Room, 16 W. Chicago Ave.
Olaska, 27, of the 1500 block of Foxhill Road, who appeared in court Sunday via video teleconference, also faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder in the stabbings of Wild's friend, North Central College student Willie Hayes, and Rafael Castenada, a Frankie's Blue Room employee who also tried to intervene in the fight.
Olaska wore an orange jail jumpsuit and did not show much emotion during the bond hearing, often turning his gaze toward the floor. His parents and about 12 members of his church attended Sunday's court proceedings, but all except his father declined to comment afterward. Timothy Olaska said the family would try to bail his son out.
DuPage State's Attorney Robert B. Berlin said Olaska has no prior criminal record and there was no indication he and the victims knew each other previously.
Tim Diamond, deputy chief of special prosecutions for the DuPage County state's attorney, said the stabbing followed a verbal altercation that occurred as Hayes, a defensive end on North Central's football team, and Olaska shared a table at the crowded bar. Hayes, Diamond said, at one point teased Olaska for drinking beer out of a wineglass.
As the two men stood up from the table, authorities said, Wild came to the aid of Hayes and Olaska pulled out a folding knife with a blade of about 5 or 6 inches and lunged across the table.
"He stabbed Wild in the arm and Hayes in the chest and then tried to leave," Diamond said. "Wild took a few steps toward him and was stabbed in the heart."
Bouncers raced to the scene, and the first one there, Castenada, had his shirt slashed by a knife, then was stabbed in the arm that was holding Olaska. However, he was able to take the knife away, Berlin said.
Police arrested Olaska at the scene, Diamond said.
Witnesses, victims and videotape all confirmed the account, and Olaska later confessed to the stabbings and demonstrated for police what had happened, Diamond said. He gave no reason and made no allegation that he was defending himself, he added.
"He merely stabbed the individuals and wanted to get out of there," Diamond said.
In setting bond Sunday, Cerne said the "sheer violence" of the attack made him think Olaska could be a threat to the community.
Olaska's attorney, Earl Grinbarg, said in court his client is a managing supervisor at the Schaumburg Regional Airport. A person answering the phone there Sunday said no one was available to comment.
Grinbarg said Olaska graduated from Illinois State University and attended Middle Tennessee State University while working on a master's degree in aviation. He graduated from Naperville North High School, where he played water polo and was on the honor roll.
Olaska faces a minimum of 32 years in prison if convicted, Berlin said.
Authorities are investigating whether alcohol was a factor in the stabbings, but Dial said there is no indication other drugs were involved. He said Olaska told officers he normally carries the knife, but he did not specify why.
The fatal stabbing occurred shortly before 12:50 a.m. Saturday as Wild, a 2011 North Central graduate and a punter on the school's football squad, was at a gathering of former teammates, Diamond said.
Hayes, a Lemont resident, underwent surgery at Edward Hospital in Naperville and was listed in fair condition Sunday. Police have interviewed him, Dial said.
Castenada was treated and released.
Wild, a native of Brown Deer, Wis., was remembered by his football teammates and others at a gathering also attended by his parents on North Central's campus.
Olaska, who remained in custody Sunday, is scheduled to return to court at 1:30 p.m. March 5.