Elderly Woman Attacked in Omaha Church Responds With Forgiveness
The 76-year-old Iowa woman was reading a parish bulletin in the cathedral lobby on Sunday when one man approached her from behind.
OMAHA, Neb. — Police have arrested one suspect in the assault and robbery of a 76-year-old woman at Omaha's Catholic cathedral — and the woman is asking for prayers for her attackers.
“She is doing well and recovering at a friend's house,” Father James Netusil, an associate pastor at St. Cecilia's Cathedral, said on the cathedral's Facebook page Aug. 18.
“She is grateful for all of your prayers, and her hope is that you will pray for her attackers. What a witness to Christian forgiveness. God bless her!”
The 76-year-old Iowa woman was reading a parish bulletin in the cathedral lobby on Sunday when one man approached her from behind. He grabbed her purse and ran out the door. A second man then hit the woman on the face and knocked her down. The woman hit her head on the table as she fell.
She was taken to a local hospital’s emergency room, where she was treated and released. She suffered a large bump and scrapes on her forehead.
A video of the attack was posted to the cathedral’s Facebook page in hopes of identifying the suspects.
The Omaha police believed they recognized the 22-year-old suspect, Wayman B. Clark, from videos of the attack. Police also received several tips suggesting Clark was one of the two participants in the attack, the Omaha World-Herald reported. He was arrested Wednesday morning.
Father Netusil was preparing for Sunday Mass at the time of the attack and briefly comforted the victim before paramedics arrived.
He said the video “just makes you cringe.”
“After the first kid grabbed her purse, the second one hits her, and there’s no point to it. It was just evil,” he said, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
The church has had security cameras for 10 years.