Priest assaulted, doused in wine at church: police

WILMINGTON, Del. — A 25-year-old Delaware man has been charged with assaulting an elderly Catholic priest, including dousing him with wine and hitting him on the head with the bottle, police said.

New Castle County police charged Joshua August with assault, resisting arrest and criminal mischief after the attack Monday at Resurrection Parish church.

Parish employees heard noises and found a man punching and kicking the Rev. William Graney in his office, the police department said in a statement. Witnesses told police that the man went into another room and returned with a bottle of wine, which he poured over the priest. He then hit Graney with the bottle and sprayed canned compressed air into the priest’s mouth, they said.

Employees lured August outside and then locked him out.

August, who was seen leaving the area on a skateboard, was taken into custody by police after a brief struggle.

August was being held on $52,500 secured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 7.

Police say Graney was hospitalized in stable condition.

A man who answered at a phone number listed for August said his family had no comment.

According to court records, August was arrested June 28 and charged with harassment, offensive touching and eight counts of criminal mischief. He was released on $1,900 secured bail, with a trial scheduled for Aug. 8.

Court records show August was re-arrested on July 16 and charged with noncompliance with bond conditions. An arraignment in that case is scheduled for Sept. 21.

It was not immediately clear whether either of the two prior arrests was related to Monday’s incident.

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