Delaware Man Assaults Priest, Soaks Him In Wine And Beats Him With The Bottle

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

Delaware police arrested a man Monday for allegedly assaulting a priest by beating him to the ground and smashing him with a wine bottle.

Joshua August, a 25-year-old man, allegedly assaulted Father William Graney and another staff member of Pike Creek Catholic Church in the diocese of Wilmington. Witnesses told police they first heard a heated argument between Graney and August in Graney’s office, which devolved into physical assault. They allegedly found the subject kicking and punching Graney on the ground and tried to separate the two. (RELATED: Eighty-Seven-Year-Old New York Priest Beaten And Robbed At Home)

“But the white male subject pushed them aside and (then) went into another room, grabbed a bottle of wine, returned and poured it all over the injured pastor,” a statement from the police read, according to Delaware Online.

August then allegedly struck Graney in the head with the empty wine bottle and then sprayed a can of compressed air into Graney’s mouth.

Church staff said they coaxed the man outside of the church with promises of money and a ride. Once he exited the church, the staff closed and locked the door behind him. August then allegedly struck the door, breaking it, and attempted to force his way inside to no avail.

Police arrived and apprehended August while he attempted to leave on a skateboard and then reportedly struggled against them. Medics took Graney to a hospital where he is in stable condition as of Monday evening. Medics also treated August and a church staff member for minor injuries.

August allegedly told police after his arrest that he became infuriated with Graney over “weed that he wanted back” and that he “wanted to kill [Graney].”

Police arrested August and charged him with assaulting the priest. August failed to post $52,250 secured bail and remains in custody.

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