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Ventura man dies from restaurant knife attack

UPDATE [4/20/18 6:00 p.m.]

Ventura Police confirm no officer responded when a call was made about a man three hours before he was arrested and charged with murdering a restaurant diner

Early Wednesday evening, a caller to Ventura Police complained about a man who was yelling and disruptive on the promenade near the Crowne Plaza Hotel and the Aloha Steakhouse.

At the time, all available officers were on other calls, so commanders watched the man on a surveillance camera. Police now confirm the man being monitored was Jamal Jackson who is now accused of premeditated first degree murder in the stabbing death of Anthony Mele.

While officers observed Jackson, he was sitting casually along the walkway. About 15 minutes after the observation began, Jackson was seen speaking with a man and a woman who offered him something to smoke. They spoke for a few moments and the couple walked on. Less than three hours later, Jackson would be arrested and Mele would be mortally wounded.

Police said observations of Jackson’s demeanor at the earlier time did not appear to be threatening or disturbing. Because of that, the original call for an officer to respond was canceled, so no police arrived until the later attack at the restaurant.

Video of the surveillance was released late Friday afternoon and police are asking anyone who had interactions with Jackson to contact them at (805) 339-4488.

In a news release, the police department said it “sends our sincere condolences to the Mele family and all those impacted by this tragic loss and horrific crime. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”

UPDATE [4/20/18 4:00 p.m.]:

The man accused of fatally stabbing Anthony Mele will face charges of first degree premeditated murder. Jamal Jackson was arrested Wednesday evening after Mele was stabbed in the neck as he sat at a restaurant eating dinner with his wife and daughter.

Jackson will be arraigned next Friday in court and is being held in the Ventura County Jail on $1.5 million bail.

Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten said Jackson already has a prior conviction for residential burglary. If convicted in this case, he would face a sentence of 55 years to life in prison.

UPDATE [4/20/18 12:15 p.m.]:

It was supposed to be a pleasant Wednesday evening dinner at a popular Ventura seaside restaurant.

Anthony Mele, 35, was dining with his wife at Aloha Steakhouse in the 300 block of California Street. His 5-year-old daughter was perched on his lap.

Almost 24 hours later, Mele was dead from a stab wound to his neck. Police call what happened a “random attack.”

Jamal Jackson, 49, described by police as a “Ventura vagrant,” was arrested and now faces murder charges.

On Facebook, Mele’s mother wrote, “My heart aches. Love you, my sweet son.” His mother posted photos reflecting happier times for Anthony, his wife Hana and daughter Willow, and other family members dating back to when Mele was a child.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to deal with the sudden need to cover funeral expenses. More than $5,000 was already raised by midday Friday.

Before the deadly attack, Jackson was described as waving a knife around, threatening people outside the restaurant along the Ventura promenade. Customers in the restaurant chased him down after the attack until police could arrive and arrest him.

UPDATE [4/20/18 9:15 a.m.]:

The man who was stabbed in the neck in front of his wife and 5-year-old daughter while dining in an upscale restaurant in Ventura has died.

According to the Ventura Police Department, the 35-year-old victim was removed from life support at 6:29 p.m. Thursday and he succumbed to his injuries suffered as a result of the attack.

The suspect, 49-year-old Jamal Jackson, a vagrant of Ventura will now be charged with murder, police said.

The incident happened at the Aloha Steakhouse on the 300 block of California Street around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday.

ORIGINAL STORY: ———————————————————–

A man suffered a life-threatening stab wound to the neck at an upscale restaurant in Ventura Wednesday night.

According to the Ventura Police Department, it happened at the Aloha Steakhouse on the 300 block of California Street around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday.

A group of people chased the alleged attacker from the restaurant onto the nearby beach, police said.

Officers went onto the beach and arrested the suspect who has been identified as 49-year-old Jamal Jackson, a transient from Ventura.

The victim was quickly taken into surgery at a local hospital.

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