Some tragic news from Ventura, a man was randomly stabbed to death while dining at a beachside restaurant with his 5-year-old daughter on his lap. Last month, Anthony Mele Jr., 35, was having dinner with his wife and their daughter at the Aloha Steakhouse on the city’s promenade at night when a homeless man walked up and stabbed Mele in the neck. Mele was transported to a local hospital, where he later died. Rebecca Mele, the victim’s mother, told the Los Angeles Times in an interview,
This guy was being watched the whole time; he was being monitored by the cops and they didn’t do [anything]. The cops didn’t come and instead watched him on camera … so he was still walking around at night. To the mayor, I say, ‘What are you doing?’ This is your city and so are the homeless people. We should have something to provide for them. It’s very hard. I understand there were complaints [about the suspect’s behavior], the police didn’t answer and now my son is dead.
The man who stabbed Anthony Mele is 49-year-old Jamal Jackson, a homeless man with a criminal history, and he was chased by bystanders and arrested a short time later. According to a statement from the Ventura Police Department Police, they received a call from a bystander who reported that a man, who was later identified as Jackson, was yelling and being disruptive on the promenade. Police said they used a pier security camera to monitor the man’s actions for more than 20 minutes before he walked out of the camera’s view. The police department said in its statement that “During that time, Command Center staff determined Jackson did not appear to be disturbing or threatening and cancelled the call for service.” Rebecca Mele said her family is upset the police didn’t do more and that city officials are going to hear from the community about her son’s death and about the continuing homeless problem in the area. Hopefully, the city does more improve public safety.