PIKE CREEK, Deleware— Police say an elderly Catholic priest was assaulted, doused in wine and then hit on the head with the wine bottle inside a Delaware church.
News outlets report that New Castle County police say Resurrection Parish employees found a man punching and kicking Father William Graney in his office Monday. The man pushed others aside and sprayed a can of compressed air into the priest’s mouth after attacking him with the bottle.
Employees lured him outside promising a ride and money, then locked him out. He eventually fled on a skateboard, but was arrested after a struggle and hospitalized. Police have only identified him as a 25-year-old white man.
“The officers then learned from the church employees that the white male had been inside of the church and could be heard arguing with one of the pastors inside of his office. After the argument, they heard what sounded like hitting or thumps and when they came in they saw the pastor was lying on the floor and the white male subject was punching and kicking him in the stomach and in the face numerous times,” a New Castle County police report said.
“The church employees were then able to lure the white male out of the church by telling him that they would give him a ride and money. Once he was outside, they then locked the front door locking him outside. The white male then 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 report continued.
Police say Graney was hospitalized in stable condition. Catholic Diocese of Wilmington spokesman Robert Krebs says a staffer suffered minor injuries.
Crux staff contributed to this report.