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Pastor charged for choking sleeping infant at Walmart

Oleh Zhownirovych (Photo Source: Overland Police Department)
Oleh Zhownirovych (Photo Source: Overland Police Department)

An early morning visit to a Kansas City-area Walmart turned into a parent’s worst nightmare for Quisha Hill recently. Hill stated that when she was in the checkout line, a man assaulted her 4-month old sleeping baby. She stated to media, “This random man comes out of nowhere and yanks the car seat out of the cart … He’s like, ‘I’m taking the baby! I’m stealing her! I’m taking her! Call 911! Call 911!'”

The man then put his hands around the infant’s neck and attempted to choke her, but customers and security grabbed the man and held him down until police arrived. The attacker has been identified as Oleh Zhownirovych, 54, a former pastor from New Jersey. He was arrested by Overland Park, Kansas police and taken for mental health evaluation.

He was charged with aggravated battery causing intentional harm, according to police and remains jailed on a $100K bond. When being booked, he listed his home address as the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Cathedral in Clifton, New Jersey. The website has him listed as a reverend as recently as 10 months ago. The child was not seriously harmed during the harrowing attack. Overland Park police spokesman John Lacy stated to the media “[She was] one worried mother at the time. She was just happy that there were bystanders and security guards to help subdue the man.”

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