A 50-year-old man accused of using a hammer to attack two women along a Crystal Lake bike trail could enter a guilty plea next month, weeks before his case was scheduled for a jury trial.
Angel Reinaldo-Cardoza appeared in court Thursday with his public defender, who asked to strike Cardoza’s July 12 jury trial date. McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt granted the request and set Cardoza’s next court date for July 1, at which point Cardoza could enter a partial negotiated plea, according to court documents.
“Mr. Cardoza has been offered a partial negotiated plea he is willing to accept,” the man’s attorney, McHenry County Assistant Public Defender Richard Behof, wrote in a motion he filed Tuesday.
Depending on the circumstances, a person can be sentenced immediately after entering a guilty plea or a sentencing hearing may be set for another day. That typically depends on which terms and conditions attorneys have already agreed upon at the time of the plea. If prosecutors have not agreed to a predetermined sentence, then a judge can make that ruling after a separate hearing.
The attack happened about 5:15 p.m. on a bike trail near the intersection of Oak Street and Crystal Ridge Drive north of Route 176.
It still was daylight when one of the women was walking the trail on her way home and saw a man, who prosecutors said was Cardoza, riding his bicycle toward her. He then stopped in a somewhat secluded area, got off his bike and put the kickstand down, the woman told the Northwest Herald.
Thinking it was strange that the man parked and walked away from his bike, the woman took out her earbuds and continued walking in his direction, she said.
The man then stopped her, seemingly to ask for directions, which the woman provided, she said.
The woman said that the man grabbed her by the wrist as she began to walk away, reached behind his back and pulled out what she believed at the time was a police baton. She realized it was a hammer as he swung the weapon, striking her in the head, she said.
The man hit the woman at least five times and shattered her sunglasses, but was close enough for her to see his face clearly and make note that he was carrying a bag, she said. The altercation continued while the woman was on the ground fighting back until a female bicyclist rounded the corner and tried to intervene, she said.
The man turned his attention toward the second woman, whom he also struck with the hammer, according to police reports.
He did not ask for valuables or attempt to look inside his bag, the woman said.
When the man fled the area, he left behind items that police used – along with surveillance video from a nearby business – to identify Cardoza as the suspect and locate him, according to news releases at the time.
Both women were taken to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital and released that same evening.
McHenry County Conservation District police and members of the McHenry County Sheriff’s SWAT Team later used a warrant to arrest Cardoza at his Woodstock home.
He remained at the McHenry County Jail on Thursday on a $500,000 bond.