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AZ dad faces murder charge after killing man who tried to attack daughter in public bathroom

Police Line Crime Scene. (Tony Webster/WikiCommons)
August 22, 2018

A father from Phoenix is facing a second-degree homicide charge for beating a man who was trying to enter a public bathroom stall that his daughter was in.

Melvin Harris, 40, stopped to pick up his 16-year-old daughter and two of her friends who had just gotten off work. The kids asked if they could grab a soda and use the bathroom at the nearby QuikTrip convenience store on 19th Avenue and Dunlap Avenue, AZ Family reported.

Police identified Leon Leevon Armstrong as the man who was trying to get in the stall that Harris’ daughter was using. Armstrong allegedly barged into the bathroom, and was physically shaking the stall door to get it open.

Harris’ fiancee, Diana Jackson said: “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.”

Harris and his daughter informed store employees about the incident, but wasn’t satisfied with how they handled it. He reportedly told the security guard to “take care of the situation, or he would do it himself,” per court documents.

Upon leaving the store, Harris saw Armstrong and decided to confront him, which led to a physical altercation.

Harris beat Armstrong to death by hitting, kicking and stomping on him repeatedly, according to witnesses. Armstrong died at the hospital from brain swelling, a nasal fracture and loss of oxygen, police said.

While Harris admitted his role in the incident, he said that Armstrong threw the first punch.

“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,” said Jackson.

Harris has been charged with second-degree murder and is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Harris’ fiancée reportedly set up a GoFundMe account to hire an attorney for Harris, but the fundraiser was not available at publication time.