A dispute 18 months ago over a pet goat's death has turned into a criminal case in which a San Dimas man is accused of maiming a neighbor's Rottweiler with his truck.

Dean A. Miles, 40, has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty and faces up to a year in L.A. County Jail and a possible $20,000 fine if convicted.

"It was an accident. It was not intentional," he said of the Jan. 4 incident.

His neighbor two doors down, 46-year-old Mark Stone, believes that Miles deliberately chased and struck 3-year-old Chez, who escaped into the street when a relative accidentally let him and a second, smaller dog out of the yard in their upscale neighborhood.

Miles "held a grudge," Stone said. "Somehow or another, he felt my dog killed his goat."

The dog suffered a spine injury and still has difficulty walking after $1,500 in veterinary bills, Stone said.

Miles denies holding a grudge. He believes that one of several pet goats he kept was fatally mauled by Chez. Authorities who investigated did not take action against Stone.

Miles told police he saw Chez in his frontyard Jan. 4 and began following the dog in his vehicle because he feared that the pet would hurt someone in the neighborhood.

Stone said: "Even if my dog did kill a goat, that doesn't give someone the right to stalk a dog. It's the owner's fault, not the animal's."

Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Fern said he was prosecuting the case because a witness, a 16-year-old neighbor, told authorities that Miles' actions seemed deliberate rather than accidental when he hit the dog.

"Whenever something like that is reported, it is taken very seriously, because, first of all, it is a crime and, second, it's a crime of violence," Fern said.