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VENTURA (CBSLA) — A senseless and heartbreaking attack left a Ventura father dead and now his family is speaking out for the first time.

Anthony Mele was sitting inside of a beachfront restaurant, eating dinner with his family when he was fatally stabbed to death while holding his young daughter.

“He was married with the baby, and working, was doing really good. He was just a really good guy,” Anthony’s mother Becky Mele said in an exclusive interview with CBSLA.

Her 35-year-old son was killed 15 months ago in a brutal and random act of violence that shook Ventura County.

“This is just unbelievable you know? You’re inside a restaurant somebody come and stab you? I mean you think someone can come up to you but with a knife to stab you,” Becky said.

Anthony was finishing up dinner at Aloha Steakhouse with his wife and 5-year-old daughter when 49-year-old Jamal Jackson, reported to be homeless, walked up to his table and stabbed Anthony in the neck, investigators said.

RELATED: ‘The City Lost A Good Person:’ Children Of DWP Worker Allegedly Killed By Homeless Man Speak Out

Becky recalled first hearing about the attack saying, “When my daughter called and said, ‘Anthony got stabbed, we’re going to the hospital,’ I just gasped. I just felt it. Something when you get stabbed in the neck. You’re not….you know.”

Witnesses said Jackson, who could be seen in surveillance footage, was acting erratically and harassing people on the promenade.

Police were called regarding Jackson’s behavior but did not respond. A dispatcher monitoring the security footage determined Jackson wasn’t a threat.

Ventura police later said they should have sent officers but none were available at the time.

“We had units that were in the city but were on calls and not available to respond initially,” said Ventura Police.

According to prosecutors, Jackson has a lengthy criminal record that includes charges of domestic violence.

Jackson’s defense attorney said that he also has an extensive record of mental illness.

After a court hearing last year, the Ventura County District Attorney described behavior that backed up those claims.

“He started rambling about cameras in his eyes and the FBI talking to him,” the attorney said

The judge entered a not guilty plea on Jackson’s behalf and set bail at $3 million.

Jackson still awaits trial more than a year after the attack. His defense attorney says it has been suspended due to what she called “his lack of competency.”

Anthony’s random and shocking murder devastated a community and sparked questions about whether the city was doing enough to help the homeless and police those living in the streets.

“I feel no longer safe in my beloved town of Ventura,” one resident said.

“Anytime an innocent person is killed, is horrible, to blame it on an entire community that has no place to live is not acceptable,” another resident said.

RELATED: Woman In Critical Condition Following Random Violent Attack By Homeless Suspect

Becky will never recover from the loss of her oldest son but is torn between her own grief and her empathy for those living on the streets.

“What’s everybody doing to stop this? I don’t even think they’re doing enough,” she said. “This has just destroyed us.”

The Mele’s aren’t alone. Dozens of random senseless attacks have happened since Anthony was fatally stabbed.

According to police, violence directed at the homeless and violence being committed by the homeless continues to rise as the homeless population grows and that problems with mental illness and drug addiction only make it worse.

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MURRIETA (CBSLA) — Many people whose homes were damaged in Monday’s natural gas explosion that killed one and injured 15 spent the night in a Red Cross shelter, unsure of when they would be able to go home.

Evacuees waited for updates on when they would be able to return home at a Red Cross Shelter at Vista Murrieta High School (CBSLA)

There were more than a dozen evacuees inside the shelter at Vista Murrieta High School gym waiting for an update on when they would be able to return to their homes — some of which sustained a good amount of damage as debris from that explosion scattered throughout the area.

“My garage door is pretty damaged,” Cherish Robinson, who lives near where the explosion happened, said. “There was a lot of debris and stuff. I don’t know if it was maybe from the roof or from what blew up, but it’s a lot of debris.”

Her younger sister’s ears were still ringing from the blast, and Robinson said she can still see images in her head of the victims she tried to help, including the most badly injured.

“I hear everyone screaming and yelling outside,” she said. “So I got up really quick and went outside, and everybody was saying to grab towels, so I grabbed towels and my phone and called 911.”

In other homes, the explosion knocked down picture frames, cracked windows and scattered debris across their yards.

“We just hugged each other and we prayed that nobody got hurt,” another neighbor said. “But it turned out that somebody got hurt.”

Those who live closest to the explosion were told that inspectors will have to go their homes to assess the extent of the damage.

In the meantime, some planned to stay at the gym while others were about to stay with family and friends and some booked rooms at nearby hotels.

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Standing side by side, the four Democratic congresswomen of color who were targeted in a racist tirade by President Trump that elicited widespread condemnation mounted a vigorous defense of their progressive agendas and tried to downplay the commander-in-chief's controversial comments, which they said were just the latest episode of a pattern of bigoted and divisive rhetoric.
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BUENA PARK (CBSLA) —  A coyote snuck into a Buena Park home through the “doggie door” and killed a dog.

Scott Goodling is living every pet owner’s nightmare. He entered his home last Friday and found blood everywhere.

His ten-year-old Malty-poo Sally was killed in the attack.

“Just the sweetest little dog. She was carried away. Just very tiny,” he said.

His dog Murphy barely survived and has stitches everywhere.

A neighbor’s security video caught a pack of coyotes in the neighborhood around the same time Goodling’s dogs were attacked.

Residents in the neighborhood say the coyotes have increased in numbers and want city leaders to do something about them.

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HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — The Arclight Hollywood is giving Angelenos a chance to check out two advance screenings of director Quentin Tarantino’s new film, “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood.”

The theater says it will offer two sneak peak 70mm screenings as part of its three-day Tarantino tribute July 19-21. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” officially debuts July 26.

Set in Los Angeles in 1969, the story follows TV star “Rick Dalton” (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double “Cliff Booth” (Brad Pitt) as they become entangled in the infamous Manson murders.

Arclight Hollywood  promises moviegoers will be treated to a Tarantino-themed celebration, with special décor, nostalgic beverage offerings, commemorative keepsakes, and special giveaways.

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ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST (CBSLA) — A car plunged one hundred feet off a mountain road in the Angeles National Forest Monday, starting a small vegetation fire.

LA County fire fighters put the fire out and the driver, who was the only person in the car, was taken to the hospital. The person’s condition is unknown at this time.

The accident occurred on Glendora Mountain Road bear Monroe.

Please check in with cbsla.com for more updates.

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Police Department is giving the public a special look at how its former headquarters was demolished.

On Monday, LAPD tweeted a time-lapse video of Parker Center’s demolition.

As we say goodbye to what served as the LAPD’s Headquarters for many decades, Parker Center, we are reminded that our past is full of memories and life lessons that shape our present and our future — we are excited to see what this historic site will hold. pic.twitter.com/96hacwDJah

— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) July 15, 2019

Parker Center was knocked down to make way for an office tower for municipal employees.

One of the goals of the project is to centralize more city employees in the Civic Center area by allowing the city to sell other buildings it owns or terminate leases in ones it rents.

Parker Center was built in 1955 and served as LAPD’s headquarters until 2009, when the agency moved into its new headquarters about a block away.

The building was originally known as the Police Facilities Building. In 1969, it was named after former Chief William H. Parker, who served in the LAPD from 1950 until his death in 1966. Allegations of racial discrimination by police are part of Parker’s legacy, which included the 1965 Watts Riots when officers were accused of harassment and abuse against the black community.

The Los Angeles Conservancy failed to save the building, which has been seen in TV shows like “Dragnet” and “The Closer.”

Welton Becket, who also designed the Capitol Records Building and the Music Center, was the architect.

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INYO COUNTY (CBSLA) — A 60-year-old Huntington Beach camper reported missing in Inyo County has been found safe, authorities said Monday.

Sheryl Powell and her dog disappeared on Friday around 2 p.m. at Grandview Campground, when Powell’s husband said his wife went to take the dog for a bathroom break while he parked the car.

She was found alive by ground search team members near the Montenegro Springs area, near an area where her dog was found hours earlier.

Searchers say Powell was “resilient and strong but exhausted” after being missing for about three days.

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MURRIETA (CBSLA) – Firefighters battled a house fire which may have been sparked by an explosion in a Murrieta neighborhood Monday afternoon.

(Joanna Rose/Twitter)

The explosion was reported before 12:15 p.m., according to Murrieta police.

Cell phone footage from the scene showed Murrieta Fire and Rescue crews battling a blaze at a home which appeared to have been destroyed. It’s unclear if anyone was hurt. A medevac chopper was called to the scene.

Clinton Keith Road was closed from Smith Ranch Road to Nutmeg Street.

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(CBS Minnesota/CBS Local) — As summer heats up, so too does the MLB trade market. The official trade deadline is July 31. And in the next couple weeks, contenders will look to sure up rosters, while laggards try to offload expiring contracts and add assets. The goal, in either situation, is playoff contention, either this season or in seasons to come.

Playoff races will also be heating up, as the All-Star break fades in the rear-view mirror. Most division titles remain in play, and more than half the teams still have a theoretical shot.

The Baltimore Orioles find themselves among the few teams that decidedly do not have a shot. The Tampa Bay Rays threatened to add insult to injury, taking a combined perfect game into the ninth inning Sunday.

This week’s Baseball Report reveals some of the likely buyers and sellers at the upcoming trade deadline, highlights the various division races and breaks down the Rays’ almost-perfect game

Jorge Polanco (Photo Credit: Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

MLB Trade Deadline Buyers and Sellers

Teams eyeing the playoffs are hoping to bolster lineups, with quality pitching in particular demand. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees, all division leaders, fall into the buyer category.

On the other hand, teams that have been fading since April are aiming to offload veterans in exchange for promising young players. The Miami Marlins, New York Mets and San Francisco Giants are sellers. And each team has talent it’s willing to part with for the right price.

Let’s look at the buyers first…

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have been baseball’s best team for much of the season. They control the National League West, with a 14.5-game lead on the Rockies as of Monday. And they just took two of three games from the Red Sox. Even with their stellar roster, they could use another arm in the bullpen.

Possible Targets: Ken Giles, Nick Anderson, Austin Brice

Minnesota Twins

The Twins may be this season’s surprise team, with a 6.5-game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central. But are they really a legitimate contender? Better pitching could certainly improve their standing among the elites. And their farm system includes enough coveted talent to bolster their staff.

Possible Targets: Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman, Ken Giles

New York Yankees

The Yankees have also surprised in the first half of the season. Decimated by injuries, the spring training favorite persevered with fill-ins who succeeded beyond all expectations. They still need starting pitching to make a World Series run, since the return of Luis Severino, now slated for August, won’t be enough.

Possible Targets: Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman, Zack Wheeler, Matthew Boyd

What about the sellers?

Miami Marlins

The Marlins came into the 2019 season as the only National League East team not likely to contend. Fulfilling expectations, they’re 21.5 games back as of Monday, having lost eight of their last 10.

Possible Assets: Caleb Smith (pitcher), Trevor Richards (pitcher)

New York Mets

Season after season, the Mets find new and exciting ways to self-destruct. And now they have promising rookie Pete Alonso to somehow ruin in future seasons. New York’s other team, at 42-51, is technically still in the NL East hunt. But a 14.5-game margin is a lot to overcome down the stretch

Possible Assets: Zack Wheeler (pitcher), Jason Vargas (pitcher), Todd Frazier (third base)

San Francisco Giants

The Giants sit only six games under .500 in the National League West. They’ve won eight of their last 10 games, stretching back before the break. Yet they have among the worst records in the National League, with little hope of climbing into the wild card race.

Possible Assets: Madison Bumgarner (pitcher), Will Smith (pitcher)

Division Races

Every division race, with the exception of the NL West, is still sort of close. And the National League Central is shaping up to be a barn-burner. Let’s take them in order…

AL East

With Yankees healing and looking to be active before the trade deadline, the AL East seems to be theirs to lose. The Rays have one of the Majors’ best pitching staffs, with a team ERA of 3.30 and a batting average against of just .223. They may not have enough hitting to catch the front-runners, however. The World Series champion Boston Red Sox continue to disappoint.

AL Central

The Cleveland Indians were expected to cruise to another title in the dismal AL Central. But it hasn’t worked out that way, at least not yet. The surprising Twins continue to be among the best-hitting teams in baseball, leading the majors in home runs (171) and team average (.271). Can they hold their lead in what’s already a two-team race?

AL West

The Houston Astros lead the AL West, as predicted. The Oakland A’s lurk just six games back, though, and they tend to come on in the second half of the season. Even the Texas Rangers continue to stick around. This order will likely persist, with the Astros taking the division again and the A’s competing for a wild card spot.

NL East

The NL East could get interesting. While the Braves lead by a healthy seven games, they will face the second-place Nationals 14 times and the third-place Phillies 10 times before the end of the season. With the Nats surging, and the Phillies hanging around, this race is far from over.

NL Central

The NL Central continues to be MLB’s closest race, with the entire division separated by only 6.5 games. The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, the division’s top two teams, have two three-game series in the next few weeks, which could provide some clarity. Then again, the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds are all capable of making a run. So who knows?

NL West

The NL West belongs to the Dodgers, the best team in baseball. And the Diamondbacks and Rockies, both 14.5 games back, won’t catch them. They won’t even figure into the wild card conversation. The Dodgers, meanwhile, look destined for another World Series appearance in a National League ill-equipped to stop them.

Rays’ Almost-Perfect Game

Shutting out the Orioles is no great accomplishment this season. But the Tampa Bay Rays almost accomplished an MLB first: a combined perfect game. Ryne Stanek and Ryan Yarbrough threw eight perfect innings, getting outs on all 24 batters they faced. Stanek pitched the first two innings and Yarbrough the next six, before allowing two hits in the ninth. Oriole Hanser Alberto ruined the combined perfect game with his lead-off single in the ninth inning. The Orioles added two more hits and a run in the ninth, eventually losing 4-1, but saving themselves from further embarrassment.

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