Witness describes stabbing death of Naperville teacher
Within a matter of minutes in the early morning hours of Feb. 4, 2012, Samantha Doti said she went from excitement about seeing a good friend to comforting him as his life slipped away.
Doti, 25, a 2012 graduate of Naperville's North Central College, testified Thursday in the murder trial of Daniel Olaska in DuPage County court.
Olaska, 30, of the 1500 block of Foxhill Road in Naperville, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon after authorities said he stabbed three men in a downtown Naperville bar.
Doti testified that she and her boyfriend arrived at Frankie's Blue Room about 12:30 a.m. and waited at the bar to be served for about 15 minutes.
Tired of waiting, Doti said she headed to the dance floor where she saw some friends. She said she immediately recognized Shaun Wild, a 2011 North Central graduate, and called to him, but he didn't respond as he walked past her.
"He looked upset, very focused, shocked," she testified.
Doti said Wild extended his right arm and opened his hand as if he were reaching for the guy walking in front of him.
And then, she said, Olaska turned around.
"The defendant turned around and pounced at Shaun (Wild). It was very aggressive and with a lot of force," Doti told jurors. "After he pounced on Shaun, he was just over him, and it appeared he was shaking Shaun ... two or three times."
Olaska, whom she did not know at the time, walked away before Doti saw another man grab him. Wild, however, hunched over and then fell to his knees. Doti said she put her hand on his back.
"I asked (Wild) if he was OK and what was wrong. Another man came and helped him to his feet until he fell again," Doti said. "He fell straight back. I heard his head hit the ground."
Edward Hospital's Director of Trauma Dr. David Piazza testified Thursday that he and his staff pronounced Wild dead at 1:46 a.m. that morning at the hospital. Wild, Piazza said, had been stabbed completely through his heart's left ventricle.
Prosecutors say Wild was pursuing Olaska moments after Olaska stabbed Wild's friend, Willie Hayes.
Prosecutors say Olaska stabbed Hayes in the chest with a 3½-inch folding knife after a brief but heated argument in a booth where they both were seated.
Bradley Crackle, a former North Central football teammate of both Wild and Hayes, testified Thursday that he was the one who overheard Hayes and Olaska arguing about whether Hayes' "shirt was too tight" and why Olaska "was drinking beer from a wineglass" before Olaska allegedly stabbed Hayes.
Crackle said he and Wild attempted to remove Hayes, whose blood-alcohol level registered .206 after the stabbing, from the booth before things escalated.
Wild, a second-grade teacher in Naperville, was stabbed when he tried to intervene, authorities said.
Bouncer Rafael Castenada, of Bolingbrook, testified Thursday that he was stabbed in the left forearm immediately afterward as he attempted to subdue and isolate Olaska after he said Olaska smashed a glass over Wild's shoulder from behind.
"I grabbed (Olaska) with my left hand and spun him around to separate him from the victim. I used my left forearm to push him against the railing," Castenada said. "Then someone yelled, 'There's a knife on the ground.' I lifted my arm and there was blood."
Castenada said he also was treated at Edward Hospital where he received "six or seven" stitches. He still works security at neighboring bar Features, which is owned by the same man.
Defense attorneys have alleged, since the beginning of the trial, that Olaska acted out of fear and self-defense when he believed Hayes and several of his teammates were threatening him with violence at the bar.