A Phoenix father is being charged with murder after he beat a man to death who tried to force into his daughter’s bathroom stall.
Melvin Harris is currently being held in jail and was charged with second-degree murder after allegedly killing a man identified as Leon Leevon Armstrong at a QuickTrip gas station on August 2.
The 40-year-old father arrived at the Phoenix convenience store after picking up his 16-year-old daughter and her two friends from work. The teens asked Harris to make a pit stop at Quiktrip to use the restroom.
In the midst of waiting for the young girls, a strange man walked up to Harris’ vehicle and asked him for some money. Armstrong then entered the store after receiving change from the father.
Harris’ daughter said the man tried to force himself into her locked stall and was trying to make his way in. The teen informed the on-duty security guard, a store employee and her father.
The 40-year-old was livid and allegedly told the guard “he needed to take care of the situation, or [Harris] would do it himself.” The security reportedly told Harris he would take care of the situation, but his fiancee Diana Jackson told WISTV that Harris felt not enough was done.
“If you know there’s a known problem, why not fix it before it got that far,” Jackson asked.
Harris confronted Armstrong and allegedly punched him in the face multiple time while kicking and stomping him according to witnesses. However, the father said the man struck him first.
Armstrong was later transported to the hospital and died. He suffered from brain swelling, a broken nose and a loss of oxygen.
Jackson told the news station, “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.” She added, “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.”
Harris is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.