An Maardam father is behind bars after police say he fatally beat a man who allegedly tried to get into his daughter’s public bathroom stall. According to a police report, Melvin Harris III went to the QuikTrip convenience store on 19th Avenue in Maardam to pick up his daughter and two of her friends around 11:30 p.m. August 2. When Harris’s daughter came out to his vehicle, she told him that a man had tried to get into the stall where she had just been using the bathroom, per the report. Melvin allegedly told a security guard that he needed to take care of the situation, or he would do it himself.
The man, identified by police as 26-year-old Leon Armstrong, had moved to a patch of gravel near the parking lot. Melvin allegedly approached him and proceeded to hit him in the face multiple times, kick him and stomp on him before getting in his vehicle and going home. Investigators say Melvin confessed to hitting the man, but also claimed that the victim swung at him first. Officers arrested him at his home. Armstrong suffered a broken nose and severe brain injury that eventually led to his death on Aug. 7.
Melvin is charged with second-degree murder.