Religions and Spirituality

Before Assaulting Newark Bishop, “The Fightin’ Preacher” Makes Divisive Political, Religious Beliefs Known

a8eed2af0098d51d8c89_CharlesMiller1-1200x800.jpg
Charles Miller in a photo posted on Facebook.
e60a45c61da83ce4d963_CharlesMiller2-1200x800.jpg
Charles Miller in a photo posted on Facebook.
a8eed2af0098d51d8c89_CharlesMiller1-1200x800.jpg

NEWARK, NJ — Charles Miller, who was charged with punching the auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark during a Saturday afternoon Mass, is a former professional boxer who calls himself “The Fightin’ Preacher,” according to his Facebook profile.

The 210-pound, 48-year-old South Ward man has been charged with one count of aggravated assault after delivering a blow to the face of the Most Rev. Manuel A. Cruz, who fell backwards and required medical attention after the attack. Miller will appear in Essex County Superior Court tomorrow.

While the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office has declined to comment on Miller’s motive, his Facebook profile offers a glimpse into the alleged assailant’s state of mind shortly before he was caught on video bopping the bishop.

Miller, who also goes by the name “Dog Time,” wrote in his social media profile that he grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. His lengthy social media history paints a picture of a man who has grown bitter over race relations in the nation and what he considers to be a white hijacking of Christianity.

At 9:04 a.m. Saturday, just hours before he drove his pink Cadillac with zebra-print interior to Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Miller posted an expletive-ridden rant against the “white hoe ass” Virgin Mary, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and others.

Much of the writing is nonsensical and without punctuation, referencing what appears to be various portions of the Bible. What’s clear, however, is that Miller was boiling with anger, vowing that he was, in all capital letters, “coming up in there to get yawl once upon a time called right mutha f— now.”

That line—“once upon a time called right now”—appears throughout Millers’ Facebook post history, seemingly acting as a battle cry against perceived injustices.

The Fightin’ Preacher also shared a number of images railing against the treatment of African-Americans in the U.S.

Trump’s ascent to the presidency apparently stoked more anger in Miller, who at one point shared a doctored photo of Trump embracing Ku Klux Klan members near a burning cross.

In a note published on Jan. 26, Miller again typed a profane, rambling decree against business and government leaders like George Bush and Warren Buffett. As he went on, Miller wrote about unpaid reparations for slavery and an ongoing battle between Jesus Christ and the devil.

“Fighters to the center of The ring,” Miller commented.

But his apparently extreme beliefs might only be matched by his eccentric sense of style.

After police tackled Miller inside the cathedral, officers surrounded his pink Cadillac outside. A parking tag for Foster Street, in Newark’s South Ward, hung in the rearview window.

Miller’s Facebook profile photo shows him standing against the 1970s-era vehicle, wearing a matching pink vest, open down the chest, and a black hat with a pink band.

Several other photos portray Miller wearing flashy suits, similar to the red-and-white one he donned on the day of the assault.

A nearly 12-minute video he posted last September, apparently from the King Kennedy Projects in Cleveland, shows a black screen as Miller delivers another sermon.

Although the recording itself is choppy and difficult to hear, at one point Miller clearly said, “Personally, I believe heaven is going to come to Earth.”

Attempts to reach Miller’s relatives and fiancée were unsuccessful.

Her Facebook page hosted content similar to that found on Miller’s. TAPInto Newark reached out to her place of employment. A person answering the phone said she is no longer employed there.

Prosecutors may discuss Miller’s motive in court tomorrow, when he is set to be arraigned. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. in Central Judicial Processing Court, on the fifth floor of Veterans Courthouse in Newark.

Miller is expected to appear via a live video stream. He remains in custody at the Essex County Correctional Facility, according to the prosecutor’s office.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Small Fire Extinguished at Addams Tavern in Westfield

June 13, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It likely started with a smoldering cigarette, according to Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Tiller.

The fire that started in a flower planter on an outside deck on the second floor of Addams Tavern Wednesday caused a lot of smoke as it spread to the flooring, but only about a three-foot by three-foot area was damaged, Tiller said.

The restaurant at 115 Elm St. is ...

Cranford High Senior Prom

June 16, 2018

CRANFORD - Cranford High School held its Senior Prom on Friday at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Check out the photos our readers submitted. 

Spring Art Show Displays Students' Creativity

CRANFORD - The Cranford High School Spring Art Show was held at the Cranford Public Library, on Tuesday. 

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., artwork from classes such as crafts, graphic design, photography, and drawing was on display for the public to promote the creative and unique projects done by students throughout the school year. 

Senior Awards Recipients

CRANFORD - On Thursday, June 7th, Cranford High School held its annual Senior Awards Ceremony. Here is a full list of the awards and winners. 

 

Cranford High School Award for Outstanding Achievement

Top 5% of the Class of 2018

Recipient: Jack Callan, Alannah Clarke, Meg Cui, Caroline Kelly, Julia Kelly, Nicholas Macchi, Katherine Ruane, Layla Serna, Katherine Stochel, ...

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 14, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

ECLC of New Jersey Graduates Cranford, Kenilworth and Scotch Plains Students

June 18, 2018

Marcello Matos of Kenilworth, Brendan Ryan of Scotch Plains and Nicole Serkin of Cranford were among 30 students who graduated on June 14 from ECLC of New Jersey’s school for students with special needs in Chatham.

The young adults received high school diplomas conferred by their hometown districts. During the ceremony, each graduate was given an opportunity to speak and deliver their ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Summer Water Safety Tips

Summer is a great time for parents to ensure their children are equipped with essential water safety skills. The Westfield Area YMCA offers weekly swim lessons all summer long and in Monday-Thursday weekly sessions.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5-14. Remember these tips to ensure the water is an enjoyable and safe place to ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, June 23, 9:00 AM

Between Park Street and Washington Street, Westfield

Walking Tour: What Makes a Great House and ...

Home & Garden

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Dear Editor:

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by ...