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Dad accused of beating man to death who tried to enter public bathroom occupied by teen daughter

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An Arizona father is in jail charged with second-degree murder after he attacked a man who allegedly tried to enter a bathroom occupied by his daughter.

Diana Jackson defended her fiance, Melvyn Harris, saying he was just trying to protect his daughter.

“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 told AzFamily.com.

Harris made a stop at a convenience store earlier this month when his 16-year-old daughter and two of her friends asked to use the bathroom and get some soda. A man identified by police as Leon Leevon Armstrong then allegedly came banging and shaking the stall door where the teen was.

“The only thing that goes through my mind is, what would he have got in? (sic)” Jackson said.

The teenager let an employee and a security guard know about the incident, and her father reportedly told the guard he needed to “handle the situation,” according to police, “or he would do it himself.”

“If you know there’s a known problem, why not fix it before it got that far?” Jackson told AzFamily.com.

Harris apparently spotted Armstrong as they were driving away, prompting him to stop the car and confront him.

According to AzFamily:

Witnesses told police Harris hit, stomped, and kicked the man repeatedly.

Harris admitted to police that he punched the victim in the face, but says Armstrong swung at him first, according to police documents.

Armstrong later died at the hospital. The police report states he suffered brain swelling, a nasal fracture and loss of oxygen.

 

“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,” Jackson said.

According to the news outlet, Armstrong had a criminal record of his own with a history of shoplifting, trespassing, and obstructing police.

Jackson has not seen her fiance, who was charged with second-degree murder, since his arrest. Harris is being held on a $100,000 bond.

“But now he’s a criminal for protecting his child? That’s not fair. It’s not,” Jackson said.

 

Frieda Powers

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