Former Pastor Guilty Of Choking Stranger’s Baby Inside Kansas Walmart

Killing In The Name Of

Source:  International Business Times

A former pastor has been found guilty of choking an infant inside Kansas Walmart checkout line. According to the Kansas City Star, 55-year-old Oleh Zhownirovych walked up behind a stranger’s baby, lifted the 4-month old girl from her car seat, put the car seat handle around his neck and said “I’m going to take her. Call 911.” The mother testified that is when the man started choking her daughter before a security guard and bystanders came to help. The baby was not injured. “I think they did act heroically,” Walmart Leslee Wright said shortly after the incident. “We don’t know what would have happened to that child. I think this definitely rose to the level of potentially life and death.” Zhownirovych was found guilty of battery and aggravated battery/intentional harm. The aggravated kidnapping charge was dismissed by the judge. According to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Zhownirovych’s next court date is Jan. 25, 2018. Zhownirovych, who was originally arrested on Oct. 20, 2016, is a former pastor at a Ukrainian Orthodox Church in New Jersey, according to the Star. Patch reports that Zhownirovych left the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Cathedral in Clifton, N.J. 10 months before his attack on the infant. The director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( SNAP ), David Clohessy spoke out about Zhownirovych. “His church supervisors and colleagues must aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered other crimes by the cleric,” he said. “At every church service we pray for him,” Walter Mohuchy, vice president at Holy Ascension told NorthJersey.com last year. “This is totally out of character for him,” Mohuchy said. “He was always exceptionally good with children and young people” Mohuchy told the publication that he spoke with Zhownirovych a week before the incident and that the former pastor told said he was being treated for alcoholism. Mohocuh told NorthJersey.com that his substance abuse issues and need for help led to this attack. “He did it to get arrested,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind. He didn’t know what to do with himself.”

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