Former NJ Priest Charged in Choking of 4-Month-Old at Kansas Wal-Mart 

Oleh Zhownirovych of Clifton, N.J., is facing charges of felony aggravated battery and misdemeanor battery after authorities say he grabbed a 4-month-old baby and choked the infant at a Kansas Wal-Mart.

Oleh Zhownirovych
Oleh Zhownirovych JOHNSON COUNTY (Kan.) SHERIFF’S OFFICE

A former pastor is facing charges of attempting to choke a 4-month-old baby he did not know at an Overland Park, Kan., Wal-Mart, the Kansas City Star reports.

Oleh Zhownirovych, 54, a former pastor at the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Church in Clifton, N.J., was charged in Johnson County (Kan.) District Court with felony aggravated battery and misdemeanor battery in the Wednesday-morning incident.

The 4-month-old daughter of a shopper at an Overland Park, Kan., Wal-Mart who police say was attacked by a stranger while she and her mom were in the checkout line Oct. 19, 2016
The 4-month-old daughter of a shopper at an Overland Park, Kan., Wal-Mart who police say was attacked by a stranger while she and her mom were in the checkout line Oct. 19, 2016Screenshot

The infant’s mother was standing in a checkout line when a man she did not know, identified by authorities as Zhownirovych, snatched up the baby and began choking the 4-month-old girl. Security guards and bystanders quickly came to the rescue, getting the baby out of the man’s grasp and holding him until police arrived.

The baby was not seriously injured in the incident, however, according to the Star, the aggravated-battery charge indicates that the infant was attacked in such a way that “great bodily harm, disfigurement or death” could have occurred.

Zhownirovych’s bond was set at $100,000, and he is scheduled back in court Oct. 27.

Officials at the Ukrainian Orthodox church said that Zhownirovych left his position as pastor last year.

Read more at the Kansas City Star.

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