A homeless man who randomly stabbed a man while holding his daughter in a crowded restaurant in southern California was reported a few hours earlier for disruptive behavior, but police finally determined it was not a threat, authorities said. Saturday. 19659002] Jamal Jackson, 49, faces a charge of first-degree murder for the death of Anthony Mele, 35. He was held in the Ventura County jail with $ 1.5 million bail. It was not clear if Jackson, who is also a convicted felon, had a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
Mele and his wife were having dinner with their 5-year-old daughter on Wednesday at Aloha Steakhouse in Ventura. The girl was sitting in her father's lap when prosecutors say that Jackson walked and stabbed Mele in the neck.
Prosecutor Richard Simon said patrons and a restaurant employee followed Jackson out of the restaurant, although he still had the knife. They followed him until the Ventura police arrived and arrested him.
Mele was taken to a hospital and died Thursday after he was killed.
"It's horrible," Simon said. "You do not think they're going to kill you when you go out to dinner in a good restaurant with your family and you did not do anything."
Simon said that the two men had not interacted before the attack.
"He was sitting there with his daughter in his lap," Simon said. "You're not supposed to die that way."
Mele's loved ones started a page of GoFundMe to help raise money for a funeral and to support his wife and daughter.
Mele's page on Facebook was filled with photos of her daughter and said she was the manager of an AT & T store.
Police confirmed that a passerby reported that a man, who turned out to be Jackson, for behavior disturbing several hours before the stabbing.
According to the viewer, a man shouted on the promenade not far from the restaurant by the beach about three hours before the attack.
Patrol officers were absent in other calls for command center personnel to monitor the man through a security camera system for more than 20 minutes before deciding it did not appear to be a threat, police said.
The police ask anyone who spoke with Jackson during that time to contact the investigators.
The murder 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 discouraged and enraged 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. According to online court records, he has prior convictions for robbery and illegal sex dating back to the 1990s.
Copyright Associated Press