VENTURA (CBSLA) — The random stabbing death of Anthony Mele Jr. by a homeless man is still on the minds of people who live in Ventura.
“If somebody weird comes into a restaurant I’m not gonna ignore ’em,” said Ventura resident Greg Gardener .
It happened in Aloha Steakhouse on the Ventura Promenade.
Mele was holding his 5-year-old daughter, covering her in kisses, his parents said, while enjoying dinner with his wife when he was stabbed.
Mele was 35-years-old. His mother shared news of his death on Facebook.
A homeless man, Jamal Jackson, is facing the murder charge.
Mele’s dad is livid about the homeless issue and told CBSLA’s Greg Mills he blames everyone in the government from the city level to the state level.
“You see homeless here, you see it everywhere,” said Ventura homeowner Denise Melendez. “But absolutely. Here it’s a problem.”
“They really do need some police protection down here on a regular basis,” said Gardener.
He said homeless are a big problem early morning at at night.
One of the owners of Aloha Steakhouse told Mills she’s been hit and spit on by homeless.
To keep them from sleeping around the restaurant they removed boulders and fountains and potted plants that used to beautify the exterior.
Ventura police got a call about Jackson causing a disturbance Wednesday. They have security cameras and watched for 20 minutes. Police didn’t see a disturbance and didn’t send officers to check.
Mele’s dad is also livid about that. Angry that Venture police didn’t come and a little later his son was dead.
As for the restaurant where it happened. Aloha Steakhouse.
Those Mills spoke with raved about the place. And what happened won’t keep them from dining there.
“Yeah totally. It was just random,” said Melendez.
“It’s not going to deter me from heading to Aloha,” said Gardner. “In fact we are headed over there right now for a family get-together.”