11:23 a.m. Thursday 9/8/2022– According to Canastota Police, the officer attacked Wednesday afternoon in Canastota is William Preuss.

He underwent surgery on his eye and is expected to be released from the hospital Thursday afternoon, 9-8-22.


CANASTOTA, N.Y. – (WSYR-TV) – A Canastota police officer is in the hospital after police said he was violently attacked. Just at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, police were asked to check on a suspicious person in the Liberty Resources parking lot on North Main Street, Canastota.

The responding officer found a man who was acting in a disorderly manner.  When the officer approached the subject, police say the man punched the officer in the head and face multiple times.

The officer requested backup and a deputy from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene.  The deputy was able to use a stun gun on the suspect and he was detained until more police officers arrived.

The police officer who was attacked was taken to an area hospital, and underwent surgery for their injuries.

The officer is in stable condition and recovering from surgery.

The suspect is identified as 25-year-old Richard Branch, Jr. of Canastota.  (picture courtesy of Canastota Police Department)

Branch was arrested and arraigned Thursday morning on the following charges:

  • One count of felony assault of a police officer in the first degree
  • Two counts of robbery
  • One count of criminal possession of a weapon
  • One count of menacing
  • One count of attempted assault with intent to cause injury
  • One count of reckless endangerment

Bail for Branch was set at $50,000 cash or $125,000 bond.

If anyone has any information or surveillance video of the incident, they’re asked to call Canastota Police at (315) 697-2240. Calls can be kept confidential.