An Arizona father is now in jail after authorities say he beat and killed a man who reportedly tried to enter a bathroom stall his daughter was using.
40-year-old Melvin Harris is facing a second-degree homicide charge for beating to death Leon Leevon Armstrong, according to AZFamily.com on Tuesday. Harris was taken into custody earlier this month.
Diana Jackson, who is Harris' fiancee, said that he was just protecting their daughter. She said Harris was waiting for his 16-year-old daughter and her two friends in the parking lot at a QuikTrip convenience store in Pheonix where the incident took place.
The group of friends just got off of work and asked to stop at the convenient store for a soda and a bathroom break. They were located at the store on 19th Avenue and Dunlap Avenue.
Suddenly, his daughter comes out to the car and tells her father that a man came barging into the bathroom, violently shaking the stall door trying to get at her. His teenager said that she told the employees who alerted the security guard.
Armstrong was still on the premises, and Harris' daughter was able to identify him as the alleged harasser when he was exiting the store.
Harris approached the security guard and told him to "take care of the situation, or he would do it himself." The security guard told Harris that the situation was being handled.
Harris and the girls drove away, but the infuriated father saw Armstrong again, so he decided to confront him about the incident. Witnesses told the police that Harris punched, stomped, and kicked the man repeatedly, according to other reports.
Harris fled the scene and was later arrested at his home. He told the police that he did punch the man, but says that Armstrong swung at him first. He also denied beating him when he was on the ground.
Armstrong was taken to the hospital where he later died. Authorities say that he suffered from brain swelling, loss of oxygen, and a nasal fracture.
"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," Jackson said.
"But now he's a criminal for protecting his child? That's not fair. It's not," she said.
Twitter is swarming with people praising the protective father. Many people are picturing themselves in the exact same situation, and claim they would do the same.
Harris being held on a $100,000 bond. Harris has a criminal history of trespassing, shoplifting, and obstructing police.
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