Father charged in fatal beating of man who followed daughter into restroom

Father charged in fatal beating of man who followed daughter into restroom.png
Father charged in fatal beating of man who followed daughter into restroom.png
Posted at 10:04 AM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 10:04:00-04

PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK/CNN) – An Arizona father faces a second-degree murder charge after he allegedly hit, stomped and kicked a man who tried to get into a bathroom stall his teenage daughter was using.

Melvin Harris, 40, is being held in jail on a $100,000 bond for allegedly killing a man police identified as Leon Leevon Armstrong at a Phoenix QuikTrip convenience store in early August.

Harris’ fiancee, Diana Jackson, wonders when she’ll see him again. She says despite the murder charge against him, Harris did nothing wrong.

"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 said.

Jackson says Harris was picking up their 16-year-old daughter and two of her friends, who had all just gotten off work.

The girls asked to stop at the convenience store for a soda and a bathroom break.

During the break, Harris’ daughter says Armstrong came barging in to the restroom and shook her stall door, trying to get inside.

Court documents show Harris and his daughter let employees and the hired security guard know what happened. The father allegedly told the guard to "take care of the situation, or he would do it himself."

Jackson believes Harris felt not enough was done.

"If you know there's a known problem, why not fix it before it got that far?" she said.

According to witnesses, Harris drove his car to a gravel area near where Armstrong was standing. He then allegedly got out and confronted the man before punching him in the face then stomping and kicking him repeatedly after he fell to the ground.

Armstrong later died at the hospital. The police report states he suffered brain swelling, a nasal fracture and loss of oxygen.

"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.

Police say Harris admitted to punching Armstrong but said the man swung at him first.

Armstrong had a criminal history of shoplifting, trespassing and obstructing police.

Copyright 2018 KPHO, KTVK, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office via CNN. All rights reserved.