Olaska Trial

Six men and six women were seated as jurors in the case against Daniel Olaska, the 30-year old man accused of killing local teacher Shaun Wild, and injuring two others at a Naperville bar, Frankie’s Blue Room, back in February 2012.

The State presented Olaska as an angry man who lashed out after being rejected and humiliated; while the Defense painted a picture of a man who feared for his safety, using his weapon in self-defense when threatened by football players.

One of his victims, Willie Hayes, got a chance to take the stand, but had a hard time filling in the blanks of the night he was stabbed, saying he didn’t recall much of the evening, as he was inebriated. What he did remember was sitting in a booth with Olaska and feeling uncomfortable enough that he wanted to get up and leave, at which point, he reached to shake Olaska’s hand, when he felt a “punch”-like feeling, as Olaska stabbed him.

The State tried to reconstruct what led up to that event, calling Sarah Schwenn to the stand. She met Olaska earlier in the night, and after dancing with him a couple times, decided he was “too handsy” and told him she “just wanted to be with her friends.” She then ended up dancing with the next witness, John Reynolds, who revealed that Olaska cut in on them, and later showed him his 3 ½ inch folding knife while at the bar.

Gina Gargaro also encountered Olaska that night. She says he picked a fight with her just twenty minutes before the incident, testifying he called her an “f’ing b” and other foul names.

Shortly after, Bradley Crackel, who went to Frankie’s Blue Room with Wild, testified that he overheard Olaska insult Hayes’ shirt and then Hayes responded by making fun of Olaska for “drinking beer out of a wine glass.” While he and Wild were trying to persuade Hayes to leave the booth, Crackel saw in his periphery a stabbing motion from Olaska.

But perhaps the most emotional testimony came from a woman who witnessed the fatal stabbing of Shawn Wild. Samantha Doti recalled seeing Shaun walking toward Olaska with his hand outstretched, when Olaska then “pounced” on him and shook him two or three times.

In the meantime, bouncer Rafael Castenada came over to restrain Olaska, and in the struggle, was stabbed in the arm, later noticing cuts in his shirt near his chest. He eventually got a hold of the knife, which had fallen to the floor and threw it onto an empty stage.

Dr. David Piazza picked up the story as Shawn arrived at Edward hospital. Piazza noted he had been stabbed through the heart, and only had a five to ten percent chance of survival. He pronounced Wild dead at 1:46 AM.

The Defense claimed that Hayes was the aggressor of the night, hovering over Olaska at the booth while other football players, including Wild, joined him. The stabbings were simply his attempt to defend himself.


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