The pastor of a Catholic parish in the Diocese of Wilmington was attacked on Monday afternoon, 7/30, in the church office. 25-year-old Joshua August has been charged with felony assault 1st, misdemeanor assault 3rd, misdemeanor resisting arrest, and misdemeanor criminal mischief. It happened around 2 p.m. at Resurrection Parish on the unit block of Videre Drive in Pike Creek.

Father William Graney was allegedly assaulted inside his office by August. Church employees heard a struggle coming from the room. They found the priest on the floor and the suspect punching and kicking him. The employees tried to pull the suspect away but he pushed them off. The suspect then went to another room and returned with a wine bottle. He poured the wine over the priest and then began to hit him with the bottle. He also sprayed compressed air in his face. The employees were able to coax August outside by saying they’d call for a ride and give him money. They locked the doors once he exited the building. He broke the door trying the get back inside. Police caught him as he was skateboarding away. Father Graney was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.

After skateboarding away, New Castle County police eventually arrested the suspect and identified him as August.

According to court records, when August was being put into the police car he allegedly said he wanted to kill the victim and wished he had finished the job, and said he enjoyed watching the victim with blood on his face and body.

August is not a member of the church, but he was apparently known there. One parishioner told us he has been seen around the church for up to 18 months, but did not want to say anything more than that.

At August’s family home on Tuesday his grandfather told us Joshua has long suffered from mental illness, but declined to elaborate.

Graney, who has been the pastor at the church for at least a decade, is described as warm and outgoing.

“Father Bill is very giving, he’s very loving. He would help anyone that came to him and asked for help. I don’t think he would ever turn anybody down,” says church member Pamela Skwish.

Father Graney is in stable condition but will have to undergo further surgeries for his injuries.

August is currently being held in lieu of $52,250 secured bail.

Resurrection Parish offices will be closed and daily masses canceled until further notice.

 

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