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Large crowd prompts police presence at animal cruelty arraignment in Middletown

Posted: 9:09 AM, Aug 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-09 12:06:27-04
Police in Middletown Court

MIDDLETOWN — Protesters have crowded Middletown Municipal Court this morning for the arraignment of a man facing a felony charge of animal cruelty after a dog’s death in Madison Twp. this week. Police detectives are outside the courtroom because of the crowd, according to our reporter on the scene.

Charles Miller was arrested on Wednesday evening after the charge against him was raised from misdemeanor to felony. He is accused of hitting a neighbor’s dog multiple times with a bat after it came into his yard. The dog, a German Shepherd named Ruger, was later euthanized.

The Monday incident began a heated week on Elk Creek Road in Madison Twp. that included multiple police calls for threats. One man, the dog owner’s father, was arrested during one of those police responses for an unrelated warrant.

The dog’s owner, Skylar Foster, was also cited for failing to keep a dog physically restrained or secured.

Miller’s attorney pleaded not guilty for his client. Miller didn’t speak during his one-minute arraignment before Judge James Sherron. Miller had posted his $10,000 bond. His preliminary hearing was set for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 23.

The arraignment drew more than 50 protesters who packed the courtroom and also a strong Middletown police presence. Before court started, Court Administrator Steve Langworthy told the protesters there would be “no problems in this court” and said no signs were allowed. It took the protesters about 30 minutes to pass through security.

After the hearing, as Miller drove away in his truck, protesters chased after him, chanting “murderer.”

Kevin Foster and his daughter, Skylar, held an impromptu press conference outside the City Building, flanked by supporters holding “Justice for Ruger” signs.

Foster said he “didn’t want Ruger to die in vain.”

He called Miller “the most hated man in America” so he wasn’t surprised by his not guilty plea. He said protestors will attend every court hearing.

“He’s not going to win this,” Foster said. “He did it. We are not going to stop There doesn’t need to be another Ruger.”

Miller was arrested on Wednesday evening after the charge against him was raised from misdemeanor to felony. He is accused of hitting a neighbor’s dog multiple times with a bat after it came into his yard. Ruger was later euthanized.

The Monday incident began a heated week on Elk Creek Road in Madison Twp. that included multiple police calls for threats. One man, the dog owner’s father, was arrested during one of those police responses for an unrelated warrant.

The Journal-News is a media partner with WCPO 9 On Your Side.