A Deerfield woman charged with stalking the Rev. Michael Pfleger told authorities that God told her that she was supposed to marry the priest, prosecutors said today.
Lidia Kuzniar, 55, of the 1100 block of Montgomery Drive, was charged Monday afternoon with felony stalking after she tried to approach Pfleger during church services on several occasions, prosecutors said at her bond hearing today.
She was ordered held without bail, prosecutors said.
Kuzniar was arrested shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday during services at St. Sabina, 1210 West 78th Pl., where Pfleger is pastor, officials said.
Before Sunday's arrest, Kuzniar had been arrested at the church several other times for trespassing and stalking, police said. The priest had also taken out an order of protection against the woman, said Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto.
The first instance happened during church services on Nov. 4, when Kuzniar ran down a church aisle to get to Pfleger who was officiating at services that day. Kuzniar was detained by church officials, who took her to the basement of the church where two doctors affiliated with the church were located, said Scaduto.
"[Kuzniar] indicated that she was supposed to marry [Pfleger], that God told her this, and that nothing would stop her," said Scaduto.
After the woman was escorted from the church, she returned the following day at about 6 p.m. The woman refused to leave and was warned that if she did not leave she would be arrested for trespassing, Scaduto said.
"But [Kuzniar] lied down on the floor, let her body go limp, and refused to get up," said Scaduto.
Police eventually showed up and took the woman to Jackson Park Hospital, where she underwent a psychiatric evaluation only to be released later that day, Scaduto said.
Several days later, the woman returned to the church and waited there for several hours. After being told to leave, she ran through the church, trying to open several doors to get to Pfleger until police were called and she was arrested, Scaduto said.
On Nov. 9, Pfleger obtained an order of protection against the woman which was to expire on Nov. 30, Scaduto said. But on Nov. 11, the woman returned to the church grounds while Pfleger was holding Sunday Mass.
A police detective serving as an off-duty security guard at the church spotted the woman in the parking lot of the church; with a copy of the protection order in his hand, he walked up to the woman as she remained in her vehicle. At that point, the woman waved her own copy of the order in her hand, Scaduto said.
"[Kuzniar] indicated that she only listens to God's law and refused to leave," said Scaduto.
Police were called again and the woman was escorted from the church property.
On Nov. 18, the woman returned again during services and was detained as she ran down the church aisle toward the altar.
She was apprehended before she could get to Pfleger and the altar and was held on a church pew to await police who arrived and arrested her again. She was ordered held without bail.
"It's just progressed and gotten more serious," Pfleger said during a telephone interview. "It's very disturbing."
The woman wasn't armed but "people really felt threatened."
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