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Woodstock man pleads guilty to attempted murder for beating women during hammer attack in Crystal Lake

Angel R. Cardoza, 50, of Woodstock.

A Woodstock man has pleaded guilty to attempted murder in connection with a random hammer attack on two women on a Crystal Lake trail in 2019.

Angel R. Cardoza, 50, of Woodstock, was indicted on attempted murder, armed violence and four counts of aggravated battery.

The McHenry County Conservation District Police Department and Crystal Lake Fire Rescue responded around 5:15 p.m. on September 24, 2019, to the Ridgefield Trace walking and bike trail near Crystal Ridge Drive and Oak Street in Crystal Lake.

Prosecutors said that Cardoza, who was riding a bicycle, repeatedly battered a woman on the head with a hammer as she was walking home on the trail.

Another woman was riding her bicycle on the path and saw Cardoza hovering over the victim, who was yelling for help.

The bystander yelled at Cardoza to stop and that she was going to call 911, prosecutors said.

Cardoza stopped attacking the first woman and ran towards the bystander, striking her in the arm with the hammer before fleeing the scene, prosecutors added.

Police investigate after two women were attacked by a man on the Ridgefield Trace trail in Crystal Lake on September 24, 2019. | Photo by Alex Vucha.

The two women were transported to Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. They were released from the hospital within a few days.

McHenry County Conservation District Chief of Police Laura King said at the time they were assisted by the Crystal Lake Police Department, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, Woodstock Police Department and McHenry County College Police.

Cardoza was taken into custody three days after the attacks by the McHenry County Sheriff’s SWAT Team at his Woodstock home.

Ridgefield Trace is a 7 ½ mile trail that extends from Woodstock to Crystal Lake. Police and prosecutors have not released any motive for the attack.

On Thursday, Cardoza pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder, a Class X felony, and one count of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony.

Class X felonies are punishable by 6-30 years in prison and Class 3 felonies are punishable by up to 2-10 years in prison.

McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge set a sentencing hearing for September 2.