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Videos: Large crowd prompts police presence at animal cruelty arraignment in Middletown

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Group protests outside courtroom after man charged with beating dog with bat

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Protesters 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.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Man appears in Middletown Municipal Court on animal cruelty charges for hitting dog with bat

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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

ExploreREAD MORE: ‘I am not guilty of this:’ Madison Twp. man now faces felony in dog’s death

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.

A crowd gathered Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, for the arraignment of Charles Miller, who is accused of beating a dog that later died in Madison Twp. on Monday. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
A crowd gathered Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, for the arraignment of Charles Miller, who is accused of beating a dog that later died in Madison Twp. on Monday. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nicholas S. Graham

Credit: Nicholas S. Graham

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.”

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Foster family holds press conference in dog beating case

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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.”

A crowd gathered Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, for the arraignment of Charles Miller, who is accused of beating a dog that later died in Madison Twp. on Monday. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
A crowd gathered Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, for the arraignment of Charles Miller, who is accused of beating a dog that later died in Madison Twp. on Monday. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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.

Follow our reporter in the courtroom: