Ex-pastor charged in bizarre Wal-Mart attack on baby reportedly faces trial

Author: Jeff Goldman
Date Published: 03/10/2017
Publication: NJ.com
Oleh Zhownirovych (Johnson County, Kansas, jail)
Oleh Zhownirovych (Johnson County, Kansas, jail)

The former pastor of a New Jersey church charged with attacking a woman’s baby at a Kansas City-area Walmart last year will stand trial, according to a report.

The baby’s mother testified at a court hearing on Thursday that alleged attacker Oleh Zhownirovych said, “I’m going to take her. Call 911.”

Hill also said the attack left her daughter with scratch marks and that the girl had trouble eating and sleeping for weeks, the report said.

Zhownirovych allegedly pulled the 4-month old girl out a cart and began to choker her while on the checkout line of the Overland Park location in October.

The mother started screaming and people rushed to help, KMBC.com said at the time. People in the store then pinned the man down until police arrived.

Zhownirovych was charged with aggravated battery.

The trial will begin May 22, KansasCity.com reported.

The pastor left his position at the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Cathedral in Clifton in late 2015, according to KMBC.com and KansasCity.com.

Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.