• Father admits to punching man who tried to get into daughter's public bathroom stall, police say

    By: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    PHOENIX - A Phoenix father is behind bars after he said he punched a man who had tried to get into the bathroom stall his daughter was using. 

    The man eventually died of his injuries and now Melvin Harris III is facing murder charges.

    It all began on Aug. 2 when Harris went to a QuikTrip convenience store to pick up his daughter and friends. A man asked him for money in the parking lot, and after getting it, went inside the store, KPNX reported.

    The girls told Harris that a man tried to get into the stall that Harris’ daughter was using.

    Police said that Harris told a security guard about the incident, telling him, according to police documents, “He needed to take care of the situation, or he (Harris) would do it himself.”

    When the man, later identified by KTVK as Leon Leevon Armstrong, came out of the store, Harris realized it was the same man he had given money to, KNXV reported.

    Harris went up to the man and punched him in the face. When the man was on the ground, witnesses told police Harris continued to punch and kick him, KTVK reported.

    The man was taken to a hospital, unresponsive and suffering with a fractured nose and brain swelling. The man later died.

    Police, using surveillance video, tracked down Harris, who they said admitted to being involved. He told police that he had punched the man only after he tried to punch him. But Harris said he didn’t remember hitting the man when he fell to the ground. 

    Harris was originally charged with aggravated assault,  KPNX reported. He is now charged with second-degree murder after the man died, KNXV reported.

    Harris is being held on $100,000 bond. 

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