Suspect In Church Robbery, Assault Arrested

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OMAHA Police have arrested one of the two suspects believed to have robbed and assaulted a woman inside an Omaha church last Sunday.

A felony warrant for robbery was issued earlier Wednesday morning for 22-year-old Wayman Clark.

Video of the attack on a 76-year-old woman sparked outrage across the country as surveillance video of the attack went viral.

That video shows the elderly woman make her way through St. Cecilia's Cathedral to pick up a pamphlet when she was blindsided by two men. One assailant grabbed her purse and the other punched her, knocking her to the ground, gashing her head on the table.

The attack landed the victim in the hospital.

Fr. Michael Gutgsell said, "Of course it's shocking because we haven't had anything like that here - at least not in 10 years. And so obviously we prayed for her the next two masses and the parishioners are now concerned. 'Is it safe? Should I be in the church?' And we tried to assure them this is a safe place and it was something completely out of the blue."

Police tell WOWT 6 News that their gang unit recognized Wayman Clark in the surveillance video.

Officer Michael Pecha said, "I just know our gang unit has had previous contacts with him, the most recent being just a few days before this video so he was fresh in the mind of our gang unit officers so when they saw the video they were pretty sure they knew who he was. The tips, the number we got and then the number of tips we got identifying him as a suspect, helped speed up the process."

Court records show that he has a lengthy list of minor arrests. Now police believe he's stepped up to a more serious crime.

Charlean Clark
Police also tell us they've arrested Clark's mother, Charlean Clark, for harboring a fugitive. The two were arrested in their car at an apartment complex.

On Wednesday, everyone at the Heartland Family Service Senior Center was talking about the incident.

Mary Christen said, "That's terrible. Where can you go if you're not safe in a church?"

Lena Solomon told us, “Young people do not have any respect."

No matter what table you visited at the senior center, the topic of discussion was the brutal assault.

Connie Delaney lives near St. Cecilia's and she said, “I thought it was a safe neighborhood when I moved in there 19 years ago."

But she said things have changed and the crime has come as close as her own front door.

“They tried to break into our front porch the other day,” she said. “They pulled the screen out and now we can't replace it. But it's just not a safe neighborhood anymore. No neighborhood is safe."

Police are still trying to figure out the identity of the second person in the surveillance video. If you have any details, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 402-444-STOP.