Dad stabbed to death as daughter sits in lap at restaurant - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Dad stabbed to death as daughter sits in lap at restaurant

Posted: Updated:
LOS ANGELES -

A homeless man was charged Friday with murder in a random attack on a California father who was stabbed in the neck as his 5-year-old daughter sat in his lap in a crowded beachside steakhouse.

Jamal Jackson, 49, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 35-year-old Anthony Mele. He was being held in Ventura County jail on a $1.5 million bail. It’s unclear if he has an attorney to speak on his behalf.

Mele and his wife were eating dinner with their daughter Wednesday at Aloha Steakhouse in Ventura. The girl was sitting in her father’s lap when prosecutors say Jackson walked up and stabbed Mele in the neck.

Prosecutor Richard Simon said patrons and a restaurant employee followed Jackson out of the restaurant, even though he still had the knife. They kept track of him until police arrived and arrested him.

Mele was taken to a hospital and died Thursday after being taken off life support.

“It’s horrible,” Simon said. “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.”

Simon said the two men had not interacted before the attack.

“He was just sitting there with his daughter in his lap,” Simon said. “You’re not supposed to die that way.”

Mele’s loved ones started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for a funeral and to support his wife and daughter.

Mele’s Facebook page was filled with photos of his daughter and said he was a manager at an AT&T store.

His killing prompted the Ventura City Council to increase police patrols in the area and add staff members to monitor security cameras, among other measures.

“We are extremely disheartened and infuriated by this criminal attack,” Mayor Neal Andrews said in a statement. “We will not tolerate this in our community. Nothing is more important than the safety of our visitors, residents and businesses.”

If convicted, Jackson faces up to 55 years in prison.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Officials say cougar in fatal attack was shot

    Officials say cougar in fatal attack was shot

    Saturday, May 19 2018 8:37 PM EDT2018-05-20 00:37:36 GMT

    NORTH BEND, Wash. (AP) - Officials in Washington state say a cougar that attacked two men riding bicycles, killing one and injuring the second, has been shot to death. Capt. Alan Myers of the state's Fish & Wildlife Police says agents using a hound-dog tracker shot and killed the cougar shortly before 3 p.m., the Seattle Times reported.

    >>

    NORTH BEND, Wash. (AP) - Officials in Washington state say a cougar that attacked two men riding bicycles, killing one and injuring the second, has been shot to death. Capt. Alan Myers of the state's Fish & Wildlife Police says agents using a hound-dog tracker shot and killed the cougar shortly before 3 p.m., the Seattle Times reported.

    >>
  • Felon arrested after bragging to Moses Lake police on Facebook

    Felon arrested after bragging to Moses Lake police on Facebook

    Saturday, May 19 2018 5:19 PM EDT2018-05-19 21:19:17 GMT

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Here's a tip: If you're on the run from police, don't brag about getting away on their Facebook page. That's what 19-year-old Kayla Irizzary did before she was taken into custody early Saturday morning by Moses Lake Police. Officers say they first contacted the woman during a traffic stop last week. She was a passenger in the stopped car.

    >>

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Here's a tip: If you're on the run from police, don't brag about getting away on their Facebook page. That's what 19-year-old Kayla Irizzary did before she was taken into custody early Saturday morning by Moses Lake Police. Officers say they first contacted the woman during a traffic stop last week. She was a passenger in the stopped car.

    >>
  • Pregnant woman says man punched her and service dog on flight to Orlando

    Pregnant woman says man punched her and service dog on flight to Orlando

    Friday, May 18 2018 7:54 PM EDT2018-05-18 23:54:01 GMT
    Stock image of inside a planeStock image of inside a plane
    Stock image of inside a planeStock image of inside a plane

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A deaf woman who is 5 months pregnant says a man punched her in the stomach and hit her service dog during a confrontation on an airplane as it arrived at a Florida airport. Hazel Ramirez says she and her partner, Matthew Silvay, were confronted Thursday by Timothy Manley, who objected to their service dog, Zariel, a Great Dane. Manley says the dog triggered his wife's allergies as the flight from Colorado Springs to Orlando was making its descent. &nb...

    >>

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A deaf woman who is 5 months pregnant says a man punched her in the stomach and hit her service dog during a confrontation on an airplane as it arrived at a Florida airport. Hazel Ramirez says she and her partner, Matthew Silvay, were confronted Thursday by Timothy Manley, who objected to their service dog, Zariel, a Great Dane. Manley says the dog triggered his wife's allergies as the flight from Colorado Springs to Orlando was making its descent. &nb...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Adams County deputies take 14-year-old suspect into custody for shooting

    Adams County deputies take 14-year-old suspect into custody for shooting

    Sunday, May 20 2018 2:01 PM EDT2018-05-20 18:01:17 GMT

    OTHELLO, Wash. - Adams County deputies are investigating a shooting that happened Saturday night in Othello.  Deputies say it happened around 10:20 p.m. in the 600 block of S. Danielle Road. A 17-year-old was shot through his left shoulder while sitting in his car. The teen was able to get away and drove to Othello Community Hospital where he was treated and later released.

    >>

    OTHELLO, Wash. - Adams County deputies are investigating a shooting that happened Saturday night in Othello.  Deputies say it happened around 10:20 p.m. in the 600 block of S. Danielle Road. A 17-year-old was shot through his left shoulder while sitting in his car. The teen was able to get away and drove to Othello Community Hospital where he was treated and later released.

    >>
  • ‘Jurassic Park’ dinosaur expert’s next big thing: holograms

    ‘Jurassic Park’ dinosaur expert’s next big thing: holograms

    Sunday, May 20 2018 1:29 PM EDT2018-05-20 17:29:19 GMT
    Artist's rendering provided by BASE HologramsArtist's rendering provided by BASE Holograms

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the “Jurassic Park” movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster’s comb.

    >>

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Forget the gray, green and brown dinosaurs in the “Jurassic Park” movies. Paleontologist Jack Horner wants to transport people back in time to see a feathered Tyrannosaurus rex colored bright red and a blue triceratops with red fringe similar to a rooster’s comb.

    >>
  • ‘World of uncertainty’: Hawaii lava reaches sea, injures man

    ‘World of uncertainty’: Hawaii lava reaches sea, injures man

    Sunday, May 20 2018 1:22 PM EDT2018-05-20 17:22:33 GMT

    PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - A volcano that is oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii’s Big Island has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with a river of molten rock flowing into the ocean and flying lava causing the first major injury.

    >>

    PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - A volcano that is oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii’s Big Island has gotten more hazardous in recent days, with a river of molten rock flowing into the ocean and flying lava causing the first major injury.

    >>