VENTURA (CBSLA) – A man stabbed in the neck while sitting with his young daughter on his lap at a Ventura steakhouse Wednesday night has died, and a 49-year-old homeless man was arrested in what’s believed to be a random attack.
According to Ventura police, at about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, the suspect, identified as Jamal Jackson, entered Aloha Steakhouse, located at 364 S. California St., and stabbed a man in the neck with a knife in what appeared to be a random attack. The victim, later identified as Anthony Mele, was rushed to a hospital with life-threatening wounds, where he underwent surgery. However, authorities confirmed that he died from his injuries Thursday.
Mele was dining with his wife and 5-year-old daughter at the time, police said. His daughter was sitting in his lap when he was attacked. Mele’s wife and child were not hurt.
Good Samaritans chased the suspect, Jackson, onto the Ventura Promenade, where officers arrived and took him into custody.
Prior to the stabbing, witnesses told police the suspect was waving a knife and threatening people outside the restaurant.
On Thursday afternoon, Mele’s mother posted a picture of her son on Facebook asking for prayers as he was fighting for his life. However, in an updated post Thursday night, she wrote: “Thank you for your prayers — my son Anthony did not make it… just unbelievable.”
Officials are trying to determine if drugs or alcohol played a role in the attack.
Jackson was initially booked in the Ventura County Jail on attempted murder charges, according to inmate records. However, those charges were since upgraded to murder and child endangerment. He is being held on $500,000 bail.