A Diocese of Wilmington pastor was hospitalized after an attack in his office at Resurrection Parish in Pike Creek, according to statements issued by the diocese and New Castle County police.
Police took a man in custody after the incident the afternoon of July 30.
This morning, News Castle police identified the alleged assailant as Joshua August, 25. Police arrested August and charged him with felony assault, misdemeanor assault, resisting arrest and criminal mischief. He is being held on $52,250 secured bail.
Father William Graney, pastor, was assaulted while at his office on the church grounds, according to a statement issued by the diocese. Father Graney was taken by ambulance to Christiana Hospital where he was listed as stable. A parish staff member who was in the office at the time sustained minor injuries. Another staff member was uninjured in the incident.
A suspect was taken into custody, according to the statement from the diocese. The suspect was also treated for minor injuries, police said.
New Castle County police issued the following report:
At 2 p.m. July 30, New Castle County Police Patrol units were called to a church in the unit block of Videre Drive in the community of Skyline Ridge in response to a report of an assault. When the units arrived a white male subject was observed skating away on a skateboard. The man was apprehended by the arriving units and detained.
The officers then learned from the church employees that the man had been inside the church and could be heard arguing inside the pastor’s office. After the argument, employees heard what sounded like hitting or thumps and when they came in they saw the pastor lying on the floor and the other man was punching and kicking him in the stomach and face numerous times.
The church employees attempted to break up the fight but the assailant pushed them aside and continued the assault.
The church employees were then able to lure the assailant out of the church by telling him that they would give him a ride and money. Once he was outside, they locked the front door, locking him outside. The man struck the door multiple times trying to get back in. He did break the main doors of the church. However, he was not able to get into the locked church office.
The diocese reported that parish offices would be closed and daily Masses canceled until further notice.
The suspect was being treated and had not been immediately charged, but police said more information would be available upon further investigation.