Autistic teen killed by police following argument with mother

12:33 AM, Jul 2, 2011   |    comments
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Largo, Florida - Police called out to a domestic disturbance Thursday say they were forced to shoot and kill an 18-year-old man armed with a knife shortly after entering the apartment he shared with his mother.

Nicholas Pesare had Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, and difficulty with social interaction. His mother, Anne Polce, says she called officers hoping they would take him to a mental evaluation center for medication. Instead, she says two officers walked into her apartment and, within seconds, there were three gunshots and her son was dead.

Photo Gallery: Largo Teen Killed

Largo Police are investigating the incident, but say their officers had no choice but to shoot the teen after they were attacked by Pesare, who they say was under the influence of drugs and was threatening suicide. His mother confirms she found her son snorting Xanax earlier in the day.

"They were confronted with a deadly force situation, one of the officers fired their service weapon and, as a result, we have a deceased adult male," said Lt. Mike Loux of the Largo Police Department.

But Polce says she can't understand why the officers found it necessary to kill her son, who she describes as 5'3" tall, 118 pounds and armed with only a folding pocket knife. She says the officers were three times the size of her son. She's also angry she was not allowed to enter the apartment herself to bring her son out peacefully.

"I could have diffused the whole situation because he would have never come after me," said Anne Polce shortly after being questioned by investigators.

She says her son had a clean criminal record but was suffering from depression. Their argument involved wanting to return to Rhode Island where the mother and son moved from several years ago.

"He had a lot of problems like all autistic kids do, but he was a good kid."

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