by WorldTribune Staff, July 3, 2023
Rhode Island state Sen. Joshua Miller was arrested after he was allegedly caught on camera last month keying a car which had a “Biden sucks” bumper sticker.
Miller, who serves as the state Senate Democrat policy chairman, is accused of keying the vehicle that was parked next to his at the Garden City Center in Cranston, Daily Mail Online reported on June 27.
After hearing a scratching noise, the son of the vehicle’s owner said he saw Miller holding a set of keys and immediately reported the incident to the police.
Miller denied he had keyed the vehicle and walked away. He later denied it when confronted by police.
Body camera footage showed how Cranston Police approached Miller and initially denying vandalizing the car. Miller then blamed the victim, claiming he believed he had been recognized as a politician.
He said he believed the man accusing him of keying his car was a “gun nut” and part of a group of people who allegedly stalk him due to his backing of anti-gun legislation.
“He was blocking my way, saying that I scratched his car, I didn’t scratch his car,” Miller said. “I’m a state senator, I think he recognized me. I think he’s one of the gun nuts.”
“He didn’t recognize you,” the police officer responded.
Miller then name-dropped the chief of the police department, Michael Winquist, and urged the officers to contact the Winquist who Miller said was aware of the threats made against him.
That plan blew up when the Cranston Police Department confirmed that Miller had never reported any such “threats” to Winquist or to any other member of the department.
In a second body cam video released by Cranston Police, the victim returned to the scene and identified Miller as the perpetrator.
After reporting the incident to the police, the victim’s mother suggested that Miller, as a Democrat, might have been unhappy with her “Biden sucks” bumper sticker.
In a third body cam video, Miller admitted to being the vandal and once again repeated claims he had been “threatened”, suggesting the victim “dared him” to key the car claiming he had been taunted with the victim saying: ‘Hey, Miller! What you gonna do?”
“What’s the reason to key the car, though, that’s the question?” a police officer asked Miller.
“Because he was daring me to, basically,” Miller responded. “The guy started on me as soon as I opened my door.”
“There’s a video! There’s a video!” the police officer stated, expressing disbelief.
“This guy wants to pursue charges. He’s upset. I think you’re going to cooperate? Why did you key his car?” the officer asked repeatedly. “You just got mad and keyed his car? Did he threaten you?”
“I thought he was a gun nut. I thought he was threatening me,” Miller responded. “I took my keys out when he started settling at me. I felt threatened.”
Miller was subsequently charged with misdemeanor vandalism/malicious injury to property. He was arraigned and released on $1,000 personal recognizance. He is set to appear in court again on July 18.