Law enforcement agencies in Arizona have stated that 40-year-old Melvin Harris has been taken into police custody, after a stranger who harassed both him and his sixteen-year-old daughter outside a convenience store and then attempted to follow the young girl into the stall, prompting the father to literally beat the life out of the would-be pedophile, causing his existence to be no more.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">40-year-old Melvin Harris. Credit:<a href="http://www.azfamily.com/story/38885841/phoenix-father-accused-of-fatally-beating-man-at-qt-convenience-store"> AZFamily </a></span>
Harris had arrived at the QuickTrip convenience store on 19th Avenue and Dunlap near Phoenix along with his fiancee, Diana Jackson, where the pair were supposed to pick up their teenage daughter and her two friends.
After Harris and Jackson's arrival, a panhandler, Leon Leevon Armstrong, began to make his rounds through the parking lot, seeking spare change or extra cash from the patrons of the QuickTrip convenience store.
At some point, Armstrong approached both Harris and Jackson to ask for any extra change or lose dollars that the pair may have to give. After giving the Armstrong the little remaining loose change he had on his person, Harris then began to await his daughter and her friend's to return from the restroom inside of the convenience store.
To Harris’ shock, his sixteen-year-old daughter would return from the restroom in awe and fear, stating that a man matching the description of Armstrong had attempted to both shake the bathroom stall door, and gain entry to the stall while she was using the restroom.
Court documents show that Harris and his daughter both went and told the security guard at the convenience store to "take care of the situation, or he would do it himself,” but that little was done about the incident.
Diana Jackson, the fiancee of Harris, says that the pair’s daughter accurately described the man who was trying to gain access to the stall as being Leon Leevon Armstrong, the same man who had just gathered change and cash from the pair in the parking lot.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Would-be sexual predator Leon Leevon Armstrong. Credit:<a href="http://www.azfamily.com/story/38885841/phoenix-father-accused-of-fatally-beating-man-at-qt-convenience-store"> AZFamily </a></span>
Miss Jackson said, “The only thing that goes through my mind is, what would he have got in?”
Harris, being a furious father, demanded that the security guard take care of the matter, albeit the guard didn't budge.
This caused Harris’ blood to boil, being that his child was victimized by the potentially dangerous Armstrong, which is when Jackson said that she knew her lover was determined to find the man who tried to gain entry to his daughter's bathroom.
If you know there's a known problem, why not fix it before it got that far?" asked Jackson.
After driving around the parking lot, Harris began to pull out of the QuickTrip to leave, when he spotted Armstrong.
As Harris jumped out of the vehicle to confront the would-be child sexual predator, a crowd of people began to hover around the duo, where Harris then began to punch, stomp, and lick Armstrong as onlookers watched.
Witnesses called the police, who wrote on responding documents that Armstrong swung on Harris first, before the father of the young girl beating him unconscious.
Law enforcement officers would arrest Harris, and transport Armstrong to a nearby hospital for treatment for brain swelling, a nasal fracture, and loss of oxygen, only for the would-be sexual predator to die as a result of his injuries.
Harris is now facing second-degree homicide charges, despite the fact that he was protecting his child from a clearly perverse would-be sexual predator.
"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," said Jackson. "But now he's a criminal for protecting his child? That's not fair. It's not.”
Court records show that Armstrong had a lifelong criminal history including trespassing, shoplifting, and obstructing police and that witnesses confirm Harris’ account of the attempted sexual harassment of his young daughter committed by the deceased panhandler.
While no doubt the QuickTrip security staff failed to protect both Harris’ daughter and Armstrong, no doubt they also failed to prevent a violent confrontation between the concerned parent and the unhinged child predator, which could have avoided all of these possible outcomes.
<i>Below is the police report from the incident. </i>
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Melvin Harris in Court on Second Degree Murder Charges. Credit:<a href="http://www.azfamily.com/story/38885841/phoenix-father-accused-of-fatally-beating-man-at-qt-convenience-store"> AZFamily</a></span>
Harris is being held on a $100,000 bond, and now Armstrong has been pronounced dead, further underscoring that the child sexual predator was clearly not innocent nor had intentions outside of gaining access to Harris’ teenage daughter's bathroom stall.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office will remain in custody do Melvin Harris until he heads back next month for trial, in what should have been 5he simple arrest of a perverted pedophile, that has now resulted in the death of one man, and the imprisonment of another, all based upon the inactions of the QuickTrip security personnel at the scene of the crime.
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