A man was randomly stabbed in the neck while dining with his family at Aloha Steakhouse in Ventura on Wednesday. A day later, the victim Anthony Mele succumbed to his injuries. The suspect is in police custody on $1.5 million bail.
The 35-year-old Mele, his wife, and five-year-old daughter were dining at the crowded restaurant when suspect Jamal Jackson approached the table. Jackson is described as a “local vagrant,” and investigators believe the two men never previously met. Mele’s daughter was sitting on his lap when Jackson allegedly stabbed him in the neck. Jackson fled the scene, and was followed by restaurant patrons and an Aloha Steakhouse employee until police arrived. Mele was taken off of life support and passed away Thursday.
According to the Daily Bulletin, authorities were called to investigate Jackson’s behavior only a few hours before the attack, but was not found to be a threat. Jackson is now being charged with first-degree murder.
The family launched a GoFundMe page for Mele’s family and to cover the costs of the funeral. The fundraiser is currently $6,000 under its $100,000 goal. Mele is survived by his wife and daughter.