Man shot by former mayor worked for him

27-year-old was arrested last month in incident between 2 at pet resort

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The man shot by a former mayor of St. Augustine Beach last week had been arrested last month in an incident involving the two at a pet resort, according to Jacksonville police.

St. Johns County deputies said former Mayor Francis "Frank" Charles (pictured below), 48, shot Blake Miles, 27, during an altercation last week at a Cimmarone home. No charges have been filed against Charles as the investigation continues.

Miles was last said to be in stable condition after being shot once in the chest and once in the groin.

According to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report, Miles was arrested July 9 on charges of trespassing and resisting police in an incident at Dog Town USA on San Jose Boulevard in Mandarin. Charles owns the pet resort, and according to the report, Miles worked for him there.

Francis "Frank" Charles speaks to News4Jax in an interview in 2004.
Francis "Frank" Charles speaks to News4Jax in an interview in 2004.

Police said Charles hired Miles to stay at the pet resort to watch the place. They said Miles called Charles late at night, intoxicated, making verbal threats and telling him he was going to release all the animals.

Charles called police and met them there, and there was a confrontation with Miles, police said.

Charles told Miles he was fired, and Miles was arrested when he tried to go back into the business, police said.

A lifelong friend of Charles' named Melissa spoke Tuesday about what happened that led to the shooting.

She said Miles was temporarily living with Charles, and he woke up Charles in the middle of the night wanting a ride.

"It escalated outside onto the golf course, where Frank was screaming for help," Melissa said.

Melissa said as the result of the fight, Charles was hospitalized with minor injuries. Miles' injuries were much worse after being shot twice.

Miles' aunt, Ashley Almand, said Charles didn't have to shoot twice.

"If you shot once and someone's down, then I can certainly understand you're fearful, you run in the bathroom, you leave the house and you call the police. You shoot again in the chest?" Almand said.

Almand said she does not condone her nephew's behavior, but after the previous altercation between the two men, she said Charles' actions don't add up.

"If you are so scared of an individual and you've had him arrested and you've fired him from your place of work, then why are you allowing this man to continue to stay in your home and be friends with this man and continue to go on vacation," Almand said.

Melissa said her friend and godfather of her children was doing Miles a favor. She said Charles is a very caring and giving person and not one to open fire.

"He is extremely passionate and kind to animals," she said. "This is what he's always been like. This is why he is so involved in these pet resorts. He's always trying to do nice things for people who need a little extra help. He's probably one of the most giving people I know."