Essex County News

Before Assaulting Newark Bishop, “The Fightin’ Preacher” Goes on Political, Religious Rant

Charles Miller in a photo posted on Facebook.
Charles Miller in a photo posted on Facebook.

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


Livingston Students Make Their Voices Heard in National Walkout

March 15, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — In order to make their voices heard and prove that “age is no obstacle to activism,” hundreds of Livingston High School (LHS) students participated in the student-led National School Walkout on Wednesday morning. For 17 minutes, the students gathered on the blacktop near the turf to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting and to also take a stance on gun ...

Fair Lawn High School Students Walkout, Show Solidarity with Parkland, FL Victims

March 15, 2018

FAIR LAWN, NJ - Students walked out of class for 17 minutes to show solidarity with Parkland, FL students and teachers killed on Feb. 14.

Asking for tougher gun laws, students held signs in protest of a lack of government action, in addition to victims from other school shootings.

Glen Rock High School held a similar walkout in which the press was asked to stay away. Students in Glen Rock ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 17, 1:30 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Make Your Own Rain Barrel

Education Green

Sat, March 17, 8:00 PM

Upper Montclair

Comedy: Almost Maine

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, March 18, 8:30 AM

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge HQ, Sussex

NJ Audubon: Winter Raptors and Wildfowl: Wallkill ...


Montclair Police Blotter: Vehicles Struck by Falling Trees, Attempted Burglary to Gates Ave. Residences and More

March 15, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ- The following blotter was issued by the Montclair Police Department on  March 13, 2018. 

03-07- 2018 (Orange Road) Attempted burglary to a residence. The suspect was not successful in gaining
access to the residence. The suspect vehicle was described as a white Dodge Ram pickup truck.
03-10- 2018 (North Fullerton Avenue) Theft of delivered packages ...

Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc 50/50 Raffle

March 16, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc. (JLMN) has provided support and service to women and children in Bloomfield, The Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Montclair, Newark and Verona for more than 95 years.

Our trained, enthusiastic members are committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community ...