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 punching 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

Newark

TRYP by Wydham Hotel opens in downtown Newark

May 2, 2018

Newark, NJ–Mayor Ras J. Baraka and several council members, including mayoral candidate Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, attended the ribbon cutting Wednesday at the TRYP by Wyndham Hotel on East Park Place.

The luxury hotel has 101 rooms, special family and fitness rooms, and occupies the renovated St. Francis Hotel, whose historic features are preserved in the hotels design ...

TAPinto Newark wins five statewide journalism awards 

April 26, 2018

TAPinto Newark cleaned up in the Garden State Journalists Association's 2018 Memorial Journalism Awards recognizing excellence in journalism, winning five awards for the website's news reporting.

The association announced the following prizes for TAPinto Newark:

Print/Spot News: 

2nd Place 
Mark J. Bonamo 
“Auxiliary Catholic Bishop of Newark Assaulted ...

Newark man given 22-year sentence for kidnapping, sexual asault of Rutgers student

May 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Newark man was sentenced Friday to 22 years in prison for the 2016 kidnapping and sexual assault of a Rutgers University student on the school campus in New Brunswick.

Michael Knight, 40, of Newark must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement today.

Superior Court Judge ...

Autism rates continues to rise in New Jersey, Rutgers study shows

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Autism rates in New Jersey continue to rise and lead the nation, according to findings from a Rutgers University study.
 
In a report that examined reports of eight-year-old children, a university study found one in 34 had autism, an increase of 19 from two years ago.

“It is now clear that what we saw in 2016 was just a pause along the way.  It ...

Here's How to Help Protect Young Athletes from Injury: Let Them Play Multiple Sports

April 30, 2018

One of the responsibilities that parents take most seriously is protecting their children from injury, whether it is buckling seat belts in a car or wearing a helmet while riding a bike. And when their kids become teenagers and want to participate in sports or other activities, parents do everything they can to keep their sons and daughters from getting hurt.

But not all injuries are caused by ...