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.

Comments (77)
  1. If proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the state ought to behead Jackson – Saudi style instead of having him steal oxygen in prison for 55 years. And before anyone says anything re race, I would say the same if the murderer would be white. If you do the crime, do the time, or in a case like this -forfeit your life.

  2. California juries have a habit of acquitting murderers.

  3. This is an example of WHY services should not be given to the homeless!
    They are a plague on the civilized word, and are drawn to services like flies to honey!

  4. White man kills African American man… Homeless man (AKA social victim) kills father. sick either way, media bias.

  5. They are trying to figure out if drugs played a role? Does it matter? That homeless guy should have been beaten to death on the spot by the people sitting around that man. I would like to see police arrest someone that did that. Stopping this puke from hurting someone else would be of paramount importance. No jury would convict.

  6. Bob Elfers says:

    Buy them all houses. No more homeless, no more homeless problem.
    Just don’t ask me to pay for it.

  7. WAS THE SUSPECT A NEGRO.. OF COURSE HE WAS….. STAY ARMED AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE KILLER NEGROS

  8. A random attack……..

  9. How does he even qualify for BAIL!!!! Held with out bail would be more appropriate!!! Not that anyone would bail him out….. You never KNOW!!!

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