California man who stabbed woman near Chicago Union Station had Amtrak ticket to DC, prosecutors say

Saturday, June 8, 2024
Suspect in stabbing near Union Station had DC train ticket: prosecutor
California man Wilson Barreno appeared in court Friday. He was charged with stabbing 71-year-old woman Arlene Rado outside Chicago's Union Station.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A California man accused in a stabbing outside Union Station appeared in court for the first time Friday.

As a 71-year old woman, Arlene Rado, continues to recover from the brazen daytime stabbing, the man accused of being the knife-wielding attacker who targeted her has been charged with the crime.

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Alan and Arlene Rado have lived in Chicago for more than 20 years, and the randomness of this stabbing is what shocked them the most.

"Surreal... if I can encapsulate it into one word," Alan said.

Feel very positive because my wife's doing great, considering what happened. My wife is very strong.
Alan Rado, husband of stabbing victim

Wilson Barreno, 25, now faces several felonies including attempted murder and aggravated battery in connection with the stabbing near Union Station on Wednesday. The judge called Barreno "dangerous" because of the randomness of the attack.

Barreno allegedly had an Amtrak ticket from Chicago to Washington DC the same night as the attack, but he made the decision to follow 71-year-old Arlene Rado before stabbing her several times.

Investigators say Rado was taking her dog Mickey out for an afternoon walk in the 200-block of South Canal Street when a stranger grabbed her by the neck and stabbed her with a sharp object. She was stabbed in the back and neck seven times.

The woman's husband, Alan Rado, said good Samaritans helped his wife after the attack while a bystander chased and cornered the attacker until Chicago police could arrest him.

"He came to Arlene's aid immediately and opened up his suitcase and took out some clothing of his own and put it right behind Arlene's back and pressed on her back to stop the bleeding," Alan said. "I feel very happy and very good that we live in a society that has not become dystopian just yet, and there are a lot of really good people out there."

Even the judge appeared perplexed at why Barreno decided to randomly stab her. The judge said, "Barreno pounced on her" and, "preys on people that are vulnerable."

"He's very fortunate that he didn't kill my wife, but that doesn't give him anyway around this," Alan said. "It's like unbelievable that this has happened. It's like I'm in a dream. Is this really happening?"

Prosecutors also said Barreno has been living in California since 2015. He has one misdemeanor in California for battery of a police officer. They did say he has a Guatemalan passport, but his immigration status is not clear.

Arlene Rado was listed in critical condition after the attack, but ABC7 was told she was released from the hospital Friday afternoon and is at home resting.

While Alan says his wife won't be taking walks by herself anytime soon, they're both in good spirits.

"Feel very positive because my wife's doing great, considering what happened. My wife is very strong, we're both very strong," Alan said.

The couple plans to take the Good Samaritans out to dinner soon, and Alan said he and his wife were going to enjoy some pizza together Friday.

Barreno will be detained until his next court date on June 12.

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