A former pastor, Oleh Zhownirovych has been identified by police as the man who allegedly choked a stranger’s baby in a Kansas Wal-Mart on Wednesday.
He has been charged with felony aggravated battery and attempted kidnapping, officials tell PEOPLE.
Zhownirovych is accused of choking a woman’s 4-month-old daughter in the store’s checkout line on Wednesday morning, according to Overland Park police spokesman John Lacy.
He says that Quisha Hill told police she was bagging her groceries when Zhownirovych allegedly grabbed her daughter’s car seat out of the shopping cart and said, “I’m taking the baby, I’m stealing her. I’m taking her.”
Hill told police that Zhownirovych choked the girl and also raised her car seat — with her still in it — over his head as he yelled, Lacy says.
Hill said she started screaming, and a shopper and security guard noticed what was happening and tackled the suspect.
The 54-year-old was once a pastor at a New Jersey Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral, Lacy says.