Sen. Miller charged with malicious damage of property 

Updated at 3:17 p.m.

SEN. JOSHUA MILLER has been arrested by Cranston police for alleged property damage. / COURTESY WWW.JOSHUAMILLER.ORG

CRANSTON – A prominent state lawmaker is facing charges for allegedly damaging a resident’s vehicle at the Garden City Center.

Sen. Joshua Miller, D-Cranston, was arrested by Cranston police on June 22 and is being charged with a single misdemeanor count of malicious damage. 

An incident report released by Cranston police states that the owner of a vehicle, whose name is redacted, returned to their vehicle and “heard a loud scratching noise consistent with someone keying a vehicle: and “observed a male standing on the passenger side walk away quickly, holding a keychain and gripping a single key.”

Miller initially denied damaging the vehicle and stated to police that he was being stalked and threatened by “gun nuts” and that “he believed the person in the vehicle may have recognized him as a state senator and threatened him for that reason.”

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However, according to police, when later confronted with additional information, “including he was observed next to the damaged vehicle on video surveillance cameras,” Miller admitted damaging the vehicle because the owner “dared him to do it.”

In a Friday press release, Cranston Police Col. Michael Winquist said “Nobody is above the law, including those who make and enforce the laws.”

“The officers who handled this investigation did so with fairness, integrity, and without preferential treatment. I would expect no less from the fine men and women of the Cranston Police Department,” he said.

Miller did not immediately respond to inquiries.

John MacDonald, an attorney for Miller, said in a brief statement released Friday “there will be no comment in his matter until court proceedings are concluded.” 

First elected to the Senate in November 2006, Miller chairs the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services and is a member of the Committee on Environment and Agriculture.  

Most recently Miller was the primary sponsor of legislation allowing Rhode Island cannabis businesses to advertise in the state and a bill banning the use of Styrofoam take-out containers at food establishments. 

He is the owner of both Trinity Brewhouse and The Hot Club in Providence.  

Under state law, conviction for malicious damage is punishable by up to one year in prison, up to a $1,000 fine and restitution for the cost of damages. 

Online court filings show Miller was released on personal recognizance on June 22 and has an arraignment scheduled for July 18 before District Court Judge Joseph Ippolito Jr.

(UPDATE Tightens lead. Information from Cranston Police Department added in 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th paragraphs.)

Christopher Allen is a PBN staff writer. You may contact him at Allen@PBN.com. 

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