Local News

Man charged with attacking 18-year-old with machete

Posted January 12
Updated January 24

— A 20-year old man has been charged with attacking an 18-year-old woman with a machete Thursday afternoon in an Apex neighborhood, police said.

According to police, Priyanka Kumari was walking home from a school bus stop at about 3 p.m. when she was stabbed by Neel Salil Mehta outside a home at 1837 Venezia Way. Her father said 18-year-old Priyanka Kumari is home from the hospital and recovering from her wounds, but has more doctor visits ahead.

Apex Police Chief John Letteney said Kumari was badly hurt "with a significant amount of blood loss and some severe injuries." She was taken to Duke Hospital, where she was in stable condition Thursday night.

Mehta was taken by police to WakeMed with minor injuries that appeared to be self inflicted, police said.

Witnesses said the assault lasted several minutes. Police said that Mehta dropped the weapon when confronted by officers and was taken into custody.

One neighbor, who did not want to be identified, told WRAL News that he witnessed the attack and saw Mehta stabbing Kumari repeatedly. The neighbor said he walked toward Mehta with a two-by-four. He said he did not approach Mehta, for fear of his own safety, but the threat of walking out with the board did not stop Mehta from attacking Kumari.

Neighbors said they were shaken and scared following the incident.

“I was making sure that everybody was ok, the friends that I know where they were in that neighborhood in that section, because I was walking around and that’s when they had put up the tape and I had seen what was going on and I was just terrified that something bad happened and that they weren’t ok,” said resident Emily Klimedinest."It is very quiet here, so quiet that there is nothing that happens."

Police said neither person lived at the address where the incident happened, but Kumari lives in the neighborhood while Mehta is from Cary.

Police said Kumari is a student in the Wake County Public School System.

Police said that the attack was not random and that Mehta and Kumari had previously dated.

Mehta is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday.


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  • William Jones Jan 15, 2017
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    This is not true, please read G. S. 14-51.3. You are allowed to use force to protect yourself or others. You are allowed to use deadly force to protect your life or the life of others.

  • Deborah Turner Jan 14, 2017
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    I am really sorry for this young lady. For the people who are critical of the witness for not going after the guy with the machete,the law in the North Carolina will not allow you to help somebody unless they are a family member. You will be charged with assault and what ever other charges they decide and then that will give you a criminal record if you even survive. I for one don't agree with this.

  • Howard Roark Jan 13, 2017
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    A gun would clearly have ended this in a second. However, I'd like to give the benefit of the doubt to the guy who I would think didn't have one. Otherwise he would have known to use it.

    If it were me in the situation, I would have to think hard about what I could use that would level the field against a machete, provided I had no gun, bat, pipe, etc. We don't know what he had available. I'm 6'5" and 270lbs. But I also know one misstep and my family is burying me. Would I have grabbed a 2x4? Probably not. It's too heavy for it's size, doesn't fit well in the hand, and may require two hands to keep from losing it on a big swing. And, that's assuming it was short enough to swing, and he was big/strong enough to even handle it. Plus, he didn't have a lot of time to figure something out either.

    Could he have done more? Most likely. Could he have done less? Absolutely.

  • Thomas Covenant Jan 13, 2017
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    Easy to "monday-morning-qb" things like this, but I certainly hope that I, as a reasonably healthy adult, would have tried harder to stop this. It didnt happen in a split second either! Not to turn this into a 2A argument, but. For me, personally, I would have run back in the house, grabbed a gun and came outside to end it definitively. Im assuming the guy with the 2x4 didn't have that option....

  • Chris Cole Jan 13, 2017
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    I think the people on here that are on criticizing the one person for not intervening must have read matches instead of machete. People use machetes to clear branches and small trees while walking in dense forests/jungles. If that thing was proper sharp one hack would lost a limb (or head) with one swipe. Honestly I would have tried to distract the guy, but no way am I going to deal with a man crazy enough to use a machete on people.

  • Ed Smail Jan 13, 2017
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    Why do people not intervene. Have people become such cowards that they watch a child being attacked? So, sad.

  • Vince DiSena Jan 13, 2017
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  • Howard Roark Jan 13, 2017
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  • Sean Creasy Jan 13, 2017
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    Too bad no one had a CCP or this would have turned out better for that poor girl..

  • Howard Roark Jan 13, 2017
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    A machete is basically a cross between a knife and an ax. A 2x4 is nowhere near a fair match. The neighbor would not have stood much of a chance and he probably knew it. He could have just stayed inside. He at least attempted to scare the attacker away.

    Who are you to judge Kylie and Teresa? Like Mo'Neesha said, what if the neighbor was elderly or disabled? Talk is tough. You clearly have a lot of it. However, I'd like to see how you would handle someone wielding an 18inch blade that could take you apart with a few swings and you have a piece of lumber.

    Remember when commenters weren't so foolish and quick to show their ignorance without knowing all the facts? Yeah, me neither.