A disturbing scene unfolded in Killingly, Conn., when a Brooklyn man purportedly barged into a church and stripped naked in the presence of congregants and school children. According to police, he is now being evaluated at an eastern Connecticut hospital.
Gary Pohronezny, 41, has been charged with disorderly conduct, risk of injury to minors and interfering with police related to the alleged incident at St. James Catholic Church in Killingly on Wednesday.
According to NBC News, the man’s bizarre antics unfolded inside the church around 2 p.m. ET, at which point he allegedly went inside the house of worship and exposed himself to a third-grade class.
The Rev. John O’Neill told the outlet that Pohronezny entered the church through a front door that was supposed to be locked. One of the parents whose daughter was inside and saw the spectacle told NBC Connecticut that the situation was terrifying.
“It’s very scary. Your heart stops a beat for a minute or two,” Tracy Caffrey said, going on to explain her daughter’s account of what unfolded. “She said it was scary. She said it was sudden.”
Father O’Neill praised the teacher who was with the kids inside of the church at the time of the incident, claiming that she did all she could to protect the children from Pohronezny.
Following the arrest, police returned to the church to calm children’s fears and help with the aftermath of the bizarre situation. Parents, like Caffrey, were glad that nobody was hurt and that the culprit was detained.
Pohronezny is currently at Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam undergoing evaluation, and is scheduled to appear before in Danielson Superior Court on Jan. 10.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.