PREDENS, RI (AP) – A candidate for the Rhode Island State Congress, recently arrested on threatening charges in Ohio, has dropped out of the race.
On Friday, Michael Niri said he was seeking medical attention for non-epileptic seizures following his arrest in Ohio in March. He said the decision was made after “careful consultation and prayer”.
The 28-year-old Niri was among a large number of candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in Rhode Island’s 2nd constituency after incumbent Democrat Jim Langevin announced in January that he was resigning.
Niri pleaded not guilty to charges of threatening on March 23, as well as a list of drugs after marijuana and drug addiction were found in his car. He had previously said he would stay in the race despite the charges.
A Columbus, Ohio resident who grew up in Rhode Island was stopped by police after another driver reported being chased from Columbus to Troy, more than 60 miles (100 kilometers) away.
Police said the driver reported that Niri’s car simulated their every move, comparing speed and lane changes and even stopping in the rest area after them.
Authorities said Niri told them he had recently returned from Rhode Island, was very tense and focused on registering the car in Ohio.