Homeless man fatally stabs California father who was dining with five-year-old daughter
Reports state that Mele and his wife were eating at Aloha Steakhouse in Ventura with their daughter on Wednesday when the incident occurred
A homeless man reportedly attacked and murdered a California father by stabbing him in the neck as he was sitting in a beachside steakhouse with his five-year-old daughter on his lap. The man has been charged with murder, according to reports.
The homeless man, identified as 49-year-old Jamal Jackson, was charged with first-degree murder for killing 35-year-old Anthony Mele, reports state. He is reportedly being held in Ventura County jail and his bail bond has been set at $1.5 million.
It is not yet clear whether Jackson has a lawyer to represent him. He can face up to 55 years in prison, if convicted.
Reports state that Mele and his wife were eating at Aloha Steakhouse in Ventura with their daughter on Wednesday when the incident occurred.
The prosecutors reportedly said the family was eating dinner and the girl was sitting on her father's lap when Jackson walked up to Mele and stabbed him in the neck, NY Daily News.
According to prosecutor Richard Simon, the patrons and an employee of the eatery followed the assailant out of the restaurant while he still had a knife in his hands. They kept tracking him until police officials reported at the scene and arrested him, reports state.
Mele was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and died on Thursday after he was taken off life support.
Simon said: "It's horrible. You don't think you're going to be killed when you go out to dinner at a nice restaurant with your family and you didn't do anything."
The prosecutor added that Jackson and Mele had never had an interaction before the attack and the assault seemed very random.
"He was just sitting there with his daughter in his lap. You're not supposed to die that way," Simon added.
A GoFundMe page was started by Mele's friends and family to help raise money for a funeral and also to support the daughter and wife, according to reports.