Local News

Prosecutor: Suspect in machete attack stalked victim

Posted January 13

— The 20-year-old man charged with attacking his ex-girlfriend with a machete Thursday had stalked her following their break-up, a prosecutor said Friday.

Neel Salil Mehta, of 602 Halcyon Meadow Drive in Cary, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, but Wake County Assistant District Attorney Anna Davis said authorities plan to upgrade that charge to attempted first-degree murder.

According to Apex police, Priyanka Kumari, 18, was walking home from a school bus stop Thursday afternoon when she was stabbed by Mehta outside a home at 1837 Venezia Way.

Davis said Kumari suffered wounds to her face, neck and hands and has already undergone at least one surgery at Duke University Hospital.

Pankaj Kumar said it's a miracle his daughter survived the attack and is already conscious and talking.

"There are so many cuts on the head," he said.

Witnesses said the assault lasted several minutes, and Davis said one person who called 911 said it appeared that Mehta was trying to decapitate Kumari.

"He's killing her," a woman told a 911 dispatcher, pleading for police and an ambulance to be sent to the scene quickly. "She's not going to make it. There's blood everywhere."

"You've got to get the cops here," a man told a 911 dispatcher. "I can't help here. It's like a big blade. He's going to kill her."

A man who lives in the neighborhood, who did not want to be identified, told WRAL News that he saw Mehta stabbing the teen repeatedly. He said he walked toward Mehta with a two-by-four – he didn't intervene out of fear for his own safety – but the threat of someone approaching with a board didn't stop the attack.

Police said that Mehta dropped the knife when officers ordered him to do so at gunpoint and took him into custody.

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

Kumar said his wife called him to tell him of the attack on their daughter.

"She was not even able to speak, and I was speechless thinking of what might have happened," he said.

"When this person grabbed her from behind and the sides and started stabbing her, then she realized, this man is trying to kill me," he said. "She tried to stop using her hands, and then this guy grabbed her hand and then tried to chop it off."

Mehta told police that Kumari hadn't been returning Mehta's calls, texts or emails, and Davis said investigators determined that Mehta had been sending her threatening emails and had been planning the attack for about two weeks.

In searches of Mehta's home and cars, investigators seized a receipt from Carolina Partners, a mental health practice, along with a letter from an employment screening firm and a computer.

District Judge Margaret Eagles set Mehta's bond $2 million. If he is released on bond, she ordered that he remain under electronic monitoring and that he not have any direct or indirect contact with Kumari and her family.

"These kind of people should never come out (from behind) bars and be treated the same way," Kumar said. "He wanted my daughter to die. He should be brought to justice the same way."


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  • Kiara Babel Jan 15, 2017
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    Instead of a board a carry conceal would have ended it.

  • Janet Ghumri Jan 14, 2017
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    This is such a horrible attack on that poor girl! No one should ever have to live in fear.
    I am concerned about three things mentioned in the article:
    1) The Neighbor with the 2x4 said the attacker didn't stop when he was advancing on him. This makes me wonder if the attacker was under the influence of some type of drugs (prescribed or otherwise).
    2) The paperwork obtained during the search from the mental health facility. If the attacker was the patient (since the warrant was for his info),
    a) how recent was his evaluation / treatment? b) Does this mean that he was currently under a doctor's care?
    c) was the doctor prescribing medications for him?
    3) The calls, emails and texts: had the victim- or her parents- contacted the police? The texts, etc. may reflect the digression of his mental health, and possibly given advance warning. Prayers for the families of both. I hope she makes a full recovery!

  • Shiloh Barkley Jan 14, 2017
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    When will men stop hurting women?

  • Rudy Bizzell Jan 14, 2017
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    In and out of house in 30 sec's

  • Joel Rado Jan 13, 2017
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    The violent criminals should be removed from the streets and put away in prison for good.

  • Kenneth Jones Jan 13, 2017
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    Hey neighbors, here's an idea; put down the phone and help someone... Just a thought. Grab a ball bat or a golf club and go at it.

  • Benjamin Kite Jan 13, 2017
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    25 years without parole, plus all medical expenses to the victim, including pain and suffering.

  • RB Redmond Jan 13, 2017
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    Do the same to him.
    THAT'S justice!!!

  • Danielle White Jan 13, 2017
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    View quoted thread

    Truly. The other side of that stereotyping is that when the perpetrator isn't of that group the authorities are dismissive because "those people don't do that." Had to do a lot to protect myself for that reason in the '90s, knowing that the police wanted to believe that my stalker couldn't be.

  • Malakai Bluebone Jan 13, 2017
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    View quoted thread

    Isn't it weird how a poll can extrapolate the entire populations thoughts on subjects from just a few random calls, but utilizing that system of measurement in any other way is stereotyping and not representative of the whole?