When a state trooper stopped to investigate an apparently disabled car along Interstate 440 in Raleigh late Monday, the man he found in it kept asking for the trooper’s gun so he could kill his mother, and at one point he tried to grab it from the trooper's holster, according to a citation charging the man with driving while impaired.
Trooper A.C. Clay said Merjhawi Teclemicael Araia, 30, of Raleigh was in the car, which was parked but still running, near Interstate 40 when Clay stopped to see if Araia needed help about 11:15 p.m.
The man in the car “kept asking for LEO’s (law enforcement officer’s) gun to shoot his Mom,” Clay wrote. “As LEO was inspecting car for damage, defendant jumped out and grabbed LEO’s pistol. LEO reacted, and defendant quickly submitted” and did not get the gun, Clay said.
Troopers are assigned Sig Sauer .357-caliber semiautomatic handguns to carry on duty, the State Highway Patrol said.
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According to the citation, Araia admitted to smoking two marijuana blunts and told Clay he was high. He said his car had been in a wreck, but Clay wrote that it appeared he only had been driving on a flat tire.
Araia’s parents came to the Wake County magistrate’s office at the detention center on Hammond Road after he was arrested, the record shows.
Araia and his parents told authorities that he suffers from schizophrenia. He was released on an unsecured $1,500 bond and scheduled for an April 7 court appearance.