A man is dead after being stabbed in the neck while his 5-year-old daughter was sitting on his lap as they finished a meal at a California restaurant.
The Ventura Police Department said in a series of news that the officers reported at the Aloha Steakhouse in Ventura Thursday night after receiving several emergency calls for a stab at the restaurant.
The police said a 35-year-old male victim had just finished eating with his daughter. "While sitting at the table, the suspect approached the victim and stabbed him in the neck," it says in a press release. "The daughter sat on the victim's lap at the time of the incident, but was not injured."
The victim ̵
Jamal Jackson, 49, was arrested at police crime scene. He was charged with murder and child molestation.
Jackson's bail was set at over one million dollars and he is being held at Todd Road Prison, according to online court records. Information about his lawyer was not immediately available. Jackson, who is homeless, will appear in court next April 27.
Police say Jackson and Mele did not know each other and the suspect's motive was investigated.
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The police also said that Jackson was reported hours before the crime in the area of the restaurant for "screaming and disturbing." Officers in the area responded to other calls, so Jackson was monitored by surveillance cameras.
"The Command Center staff watched Jackson's behavior for more than 20 minutes until Jackson walked away from the camera," the authorities said. During that time, the staff at the Command Center discovered Jackson was not disturbing or threatening and shutting off a call for service before patrol resources became available.
Police ask anyone who interacted with Jackson on Thursday night to speak with Sgt. Matt Cain at 805-339-4488
"The Ventura Police Department speaks to the Mele family and to all those tragically lost and terrible crimes our sincere condolences, "said the department in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this difficult time."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Meles wife and daughter.