An Arizona father has been charged with second-degree murder after he beat a man to death at a Phoenix convenience store. Melvin Harris III told police that the deceased man had tried to enter his daughter’s bathroom stall at a QuikTrip store north of the city.
Harris’s 16-year-old daughter allegedly told him that a man tried to enter her bathroom stall by shaking the door down. She said that she quickly alerted an employee who then told the security guard about the matter. The daughter then identified the suspect as he left the store. Harris told security to “take care of the situation, or he would do it himself,” to which the guard replied that it was being “handled.”
But the father decided to intervene himself and confronted the alleged harasser, identified as Leon Leevon Armstrong. Harris reportedly then punched, stomped on and kicked the man, before fleeing the scene. Armstrong later died at a hospital, according to authorities.
Harris’s fiancee, Diana Jackson, defended her partner, saying that he was simply protecting his family.
“I’m not mad at him. I don’t feel like he did anything wrong. I love him. He did what he was supposed to do for our kid. You cannot tell someone they’re wrong for protecting their children,” Jackson told AZfamily.com. “I would have done the same thing. I don’t feel bad at all for his actions. I feel bad that the man ended up dying in the process. I do.”
ARIZONA MAN ARRESTED AFTER KILLING MAN WHO TRIED TO ATTACK HIS DAUGHTER
Posted by BET on Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Police said that Harris is currently being held on a $100,00 bond.
Witnesses allege that Harris continually stomped on the man as he lay on the ground, but the father contested this. Armstrong was rushed to hospital with brain injuries and a broken nose.
“Leon was missing,” said the step-grandmother of the deceased victim, who was reportedly struggling with addiction and mental illness. “We did not know where Leon was for days.”
Despite Harris’s family insisting that he was within his right to beat Armstrong in defense of his daughter, Armstrong’s family are insistent that he took it way too far.
“I understand you want to defend your daughter. I totally get that, I have kids myself,” Armstrong’s sister, Ashley Armstrong told KNXV-TV. “But the way you went about it was totally wrong.”
Harris had a criminal history of shoplifting, trespassing and obstructing police.
(H/T: AZ Family)