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Apex Walgreen's customer stabbed while stopping robber

Posted November 27, 2012

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— A Cary man was arrested early Tuesday after police say he stabbed a customer while trying to rob a Walgreen's in Apex for prescription drugs. 

Zachery Lewis Erlemann, 20, of 110 Christofle Lane, was charged with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injuries, first-degree kidnapping and two counts of second-degree kidnapping.

Becky Meekins, Mike Weaver and his fiancé, Marchele Jones, were about to leave the drugstore when Erlemann forced them to the pharmacy in the back of the store.

"This dude just pushed me on the shoulder and said, 'Go to the back,'" Jones said. "I am huffing like he is joking around. I did not believe it."

She said Erlemann was covering his face with a T-shirt, wearing gloves and clutching a knife. 

Weaver kept a close eye on Erlemann, waiting for an opportunity to subdue him.

"I wasn't scared or mad or anything," Weaver said. "I was calm."

Apex Walgreen's customer stabbed while stopping robber Apex Walgreen's customer stabbed while stopping robber

When Erlemann looked away for moment, Weaver said, he seized his chance.

"I came around with my right hand and hit him in the nose," Weaver said. "He hit the ground and I kept hitting him in the face."

In the struggle, Weaver suffered a stab wound to his arm. Erlemann stumbled out of the store with a broken nose, police said.

He was arrested about a block from the store.

Despite the possible danger, Weaver said his choice was easy.

"If my family is in danger, I am going to fight for it," he said.

57 Comments

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  • liliyorg Nov 30, 10:45 a.m.

    If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns, Lightfoot3. If Weaver had a gun, he wouldn't have to shoot it. He could threaten the guy by just pointing it at him.
    If one person had a concealed weapon permit at the Aurora shooting, a lot of people would be safe.

  • Lightfoot3 Nov 29, 3:23 p.m.

    “"I came around with my right hand and hit him in the nose," Weaver said.” – article


    The robber is lucky the story doesn’t go “I drew my firearm and shot him in the head”.

  • monami Nov 28, 7:44 p.m.

    "Hiring a good lawyer will ensure that he gets the help that he needs... "

    I wish that were the case. The addict (again, I'm making an assumption) needs to WANT to rehabilitate. Hitting "rock bottom" is what it takes for an addict to see the light (if he is ever going to see it), and some time in jail might just do the trick.

    Mom and Dad helping to get the kid(man) off easy (i.e., no jail sentence) and going through the motions of rehab often ends in immediate relapse once out of the program. I have witnessed this, and the end results were death by overdose.

    I believe criminal behavior resulting from drug use needs a severe consequence via a court verdict/penalty, NOT freedom to go out and do it some more. Combining a stiff penalty with rehabilitation sounds good to me, but the addict needs to want to clean up, that is, have reached a rock bottom turning point. Mom and Dad can't fix this.

    Addiction is a bi***.

  • jscott13 Nov 28, 5:16 p.m.

    Hiring a good lawyer will ensure that he gets the help that he needs. I just don't understand why so many people advocate just killing someone. Everyone needs to remember that, "There but for the grace of God go I."

  • Mike H Nov 28, 4:21 p.m.

    Monami, there's a substantial career hazard of being a criminal: death. When peoples' lives are threatened, there's a reasonable expectation that they will fight back. Some may claim that Mr. Erlemann is a good guy who simply made a mistake, but I would argue that this is symptomatic of a much deeper problem, and he's lucky indeed to still be alive.

    This young man is deeply troubled. His actions could easily have cost him his life. What if the person he cornered was a younger woman of small stature? We have no way of knowing how that would have played out, but it could have been much worse.

    Just because a person is carrying a firearm doesn't mean it will be drawn. And it's entirely possible that the mere presence of that weapon in the holster would deter a criminal from following through on their violent acts. And in the worst case scenario, it puts the victim in a far more defensible position.

    If you want to live in a gun-free society, I'd recommend New York or Chicago. Good luck!

  • monami Nov 28, 3:24 p.m.

    "All I can say is that this individual is VERY lucky he didn't attempt to do this to someone who carries a CCP. The outcome would have not been in his favor. This story totally justifies why gun laws need to be changed so that more responsible citizen can carry without worry of brow beating by hand wringing anti gun lobbiests!!!
    torchhappysean"

    I AGREE THAT GUN LAWS NEED TO BE CHANGED, but NOT to allow more carriers. We need to STOP all these people walking around with guns! What if some gun freak would have pulled out his concealed weapon and shot this kid? You think that would have been a GOOD OUTCOME? CRAZY!

    This young man needs severe consequences (jail). His parents should not enable him with a good attorney who will get him off. That will only perpetuate his drug habit and life of crime. Hopefully this is the man's "rock bottom", he will do time, and become rehabilitated. We can only hope. Thankfully, there weren't worse injuries due to come zealot carrying a gun.

  • torchhappysean Nov 28, 3:02 p.m.

    All I can say is that this individual is VERY lucky he didn't attempt to do this to someone who carries a CCP. The outcome would have not been in his favor. This story totally justifies why gun laws need to be changed so that more responsible citizen can carry without worry of brow beating by hand wringing anti gun lobbiests!!!

  • jscott13 Nov 28, 2:53 p.m.

    Vendetta...your name is appropriate. Everyone who commits a crime does not deserve death or even jail time. If Mr. Weaver hadn't tackled him, then he wouldn't have even been injured. My point is...in many of these crimes the guys have killed before and have absolutely no problem with doing it again. Mr. Weaver took a huge chance and I just don't want to see anyone else try that and be killed. I could have subdued this young man and I am old! This is a classic...don't try this at home...situation.

  • Vendetta911 Nov 28, 1:59 p.m.

    this is a violent crime so any of you showing sympathy toward the assailant are dead wrong, people that are going to show no regard for the safety of others,WILL be locked away, if he put something into his body that caused this crazed addictive response than he brought it on himself.As for Mr. Weaver he IS a hero, you don't know if this guy was gonna leave and go rob a bank next(anyone thinking they would get away with this is clearly dumb[no drug can cause this combo of stupidity and action])

    @jscott13- If i break into your house and take everything you own and leave you unharmed, you would consider yourself to be lucky? no?

  • jscott13 Nov 28, 1:18 p.m.

    VariousGood...I have known this boy since he was a toddler. He has never been in trouble. He made great grades, was an Eagle Scout and a fine young man. Something has gone terribly wrong, but he doesn't deserve to die and thank goodness, that didn't happen. The reason that Mr. Weaver was able to so easily subdue him was because he is not a streetwise criminal at all. He was probably more afraid than the people in the store. What Mr. Weaver did was foolish, although I can"t say that I wouldn't have done the same thing myself. The police tell you not to confront someone in this type of situation and there is a very good reason for that. If this had been a different person, Mr. Weaver might be badly injured or worse. This is a unique situation and it is not something that should be romanticized because someone else may try to be like Mr. Weaver and lose his life!!

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