Arizona father accused of killing man who followed daughter into bathroom
PHOENIX — A father has been charged with second-degree murder after allegedly beating a man who tried to enter a bathroom stall occupied by his daughter.
Melvin Harris III was arrested earlier this month at his Phoenix home, accused of assaulting a man at a QuikTrip convenience store near 19th and Dunlap avenues Aug. 2. The hospitalized man died a few days later.
According to court documents, Harris went to the store around 11:30 p.m. to pick up his teenage daughter and her two friends.
The victim then approached Harris while he was in his vehicle in the parking lot and asked him for change. After Harris gave him some change, the man walked into the store.
When Harris’ daughter and her friends exited the store, they told Harris that a man tried to get inside their closed and locked stall door in the women’s restroom.
The daughter told an employee and the employee then told an on-site security guard, the court documents said.
As the victim exited the QuikTrip, Harris’ daughter pointed him out as the man who tried to go into the restroom.
Harris then approached the security guard and said “he needed to take care of the situation or he would do it himself.”
The security guard then said they would handle the situation.
Harris then got back into his vehicle and pulled up to a gravel area where the victim had moved to.
Witnesses said Harris approached the victim and punched him in the face, causing him to fall.
The victim was allegedly “snoring and moaning while on the ground,” court documents said.
Harris then allegedly struck the victim in the face several more times, kicked and stomped on him before getting back in his car and fleeing to his home.
Harris admitted his involvement to police when they showed up at his home. and was arrested and transported to police headquarters.
During an interview with officers, Harris admitted to punching the victim in the face, but said it was only because the victim had swung at him first, “striking him near the neck and shoulder area.”
Harris also denied hitting the victim while he was down on the ground.
The victim was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Harris was to appear in court next on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.
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