A Phoenix father is accused of beating a man to death after being told the man had tried to forcibly enter a bathroom stall occupied by his teenage daughter.
A police report published by KPHO/KTVK of Phoenix says the incident happened on Aug. 2 after Melvin Harris, 40, drove to a convenience store to pick up his daughter and two friends.
His daughter told him that a man had tried to enter her bathroom stall; she identified the man to Harris and told store employees, according to the report. The station reports the intruder shook the stall attempting to get to the girl.
Harris had met the man earlier in the night when he asked Harris for money, the report says.
A security guard told Harris that the situation would be handled. Harris went on to approach the man and allegedly punch him in the face. The report says witnesses saw Harris beating and kicking the man as the victim lay on the ground moaning.
The report says Harris told police the victim had struck him first. He said he didn’t remember striking the victim after the man had fallen to the ground.
The victim was hospitalized with a broken nose and brain injuries. He died on Aug. 7, according to KSAZ.
Online court records show Harris is accused of second-degree murder.
Harris’ fiancee told KPHO/KTVK that she believes he was protecting the girl.
“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,” Diana Jackson told the station.