Former Passaic County Pastor Charged With Choking Infant

Author: Daniel Hubbard
Date Published: 10/21/2016
Publication: Patch (Wayne NJ)
Oleh Zhownirovych, 54 — Johnson County Sheriff’s Office
Oleh Zhownirovych, 54 — Johnson County Sheriff’s Office

Oleh Zhownirovych, 54, allegedly walked up to the baby and put his hands around her throat inside a Kansas City-area Walmart, police said.

A former Passaic County pastor was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly choked an infant girl in a Kansas City-area Walmart.

Oleh Zhownirovych, 54, was charged with aggravated battery, Overland Park Police spokesman Officer John P. Lacy said.

Police responded to the Walmart Wednesday at 7:23 a.m. on a report of a man choking a 4-month-old girl, Lacy said.

The infant was with her mother, Quisha Hill, in a checkout line when a man walked up from behind her and put his hands around the baby’s throat, Lacy said.

Hill said the man told her he was taking the baby and tried to pull the infant’s carrier out of Hill’s shopping cart, Lacy said.

Hill screamed and bystanders came to assist, police said. They subdued Zhownirovych and held him until police arrived, Lacy said.

The infant was treated at the scene and is expected to be fine; Zhownirovych was still in police custody as of Wednesday morning, police said.

Hill said she does not know Zhownirovych, Lacy said.

According to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Zhownirovych previously worked at the Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Cathedral in Clifton. He left the position about 10 months ago, KMBC.com reported.

“His church supervisors and colleagues must aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered other crimes by the cleric,” said David Clohessy, director of SNAP.

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