Protective order placed against man in Apex machete attack

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A domestic violence protective order has been placed against 20-year-old Neel Mehta, the man accused of viciously attacking a high school senior with a machete last month.

The protective order was placed on behalf of 18-year-old Priyanka Kumari.

On the afternoon of January 12th, authorities say Mehta attacked Kumari in an Apex neighborhood after she got off her school bus.

The teen suffered deep cuts from the blows of Mehta's machete across her face, head, and neck. Her father, Pankaj Kumar, said she had 46 cuts on her head alone.


Under the order, consented to by both parties at the Wake County Justice Center Friday, Mehta must stay at least 500 yards away from Kumari at all times. He also must not be in any location where Kumari works or goes to school and he is not allowed to possess any firearms. It is in effect until February 3, 2018.

"It's just a court proceeding," said the father of the victim, Pankaj Kumar, who was in court on behalf of his daughter. "It's just a formal procedure. But it doesn't signify anything in the real life because he's going to be in the jail."

He added the order gives his family "peace of mind."

Last week, a grand jury in Wake County indicted Mehta on an attempted first-degree murder charge and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury. Mehta previously faced assault charges.

"As the judge said there was no findings of domestic violence at this time," said Mehta's attorney, David Coolidge on Friday. "But it's a consented order. These happen a lot in these cases."

He refused to answer further questions about the case.

"I know that Neel's family obviously expresses prayers for the other family involved in this case, would like to just express that," Coolidge said. "In terms of any of the facts, there's nothing I can say at this time."

The victim's father said seeing Mehta in person in the courtroom brought heavy thoughts.

"Don't want to see him because it just refreshes the memory," Kumar said. "I have bad dreams. I woke up in the morning today with a lot of stress. It happens almost every day almost but time is the best healer."

He added that his daughter is recovering at home and has more swelling in her hands. He said she is mentally strong, but physically weak.

"It's a long journey before she recovers but she's on the path to recovery," Kumar said.

Kumar has said Mehta was obsessed with his daughter from the time they attended school together at Green Hope High School in Cary.
He said he had her transferred to Holly Springs High School at the end of 2015 to get away from Mehta.

About a month before the attack, Kumar said Mehta started sending her threatening texts and messages on social media.

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