Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo officers cleared in shooting of knife-wielding man

LARGO — Nicholas John Pesare told his mother he wanted to die and that he would force police to kill him by attacking them with a knife.

Anne Polce said she told Largo police Officer James Shinn this when he arrived at Laguna Vista Apartments June 30. She repeated it again when Officer Nathaniel Hansmann arrived a few minutes later, at about 1:35 p.m.

Twenty minutes later, Pesare was dead on his bedroom floor, shot three times by Hansmann after a Taser shot by Shinn missed.

Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe has cleared the officers of any wrongdoing in the death. On Tuesday, Largo police released McCabe's letter, which details his office's investigation and his conclusion that Hansmann was justified in shooting Pesare.

"Without provocation of any kind, Pesare raised the knife in a threatening manner and quickly advanced towards the two officers," McCabe wrote in the report. "Both officers were in fear for their own lives as well as the lives of each other when Officer Hansmann fired his pistol."

Both officers were placed on administrative leave after the shooting, which is standard procedure, according to Largo Lt. Mike Loux. Shinn returned to full duty after a few days; Hansmann will return to full duty after seeing a psychiatrist, which also is standard procedure, Loux said.

Largo police will conduct an administrative review to see if any policies were broken, Loux said, but he does not anticipate any violations.

"We agree with Bernie McCabe," he said.

Polce was unavailable for comment Tuesday. She told the St. Petersburg Times on July 1 that police "cornered and shot" her son, and she planned to sue the police department.

Pesare had autism, attention deficit disorder, Asperger Syndrome and a long history of suicidal activity, according to McCabe's report. He cut his wrists multiple times, Polce told investigators, and was committed to a psychiatric hospital in Rhode Island at least nine times before the mother and son moved to Florida.

McCabe's letter gave the following account of Pesare's death:

Hansmann entered Pesare's bedroom with his gun drawn, while Shinn followed with his Taser drawn. Hansmann grabbed Pesare by the collar, but he squirmed free and grabbed a folding knife off a TV tray by his bed.

Shinn fired the Taser at Pesare from about five feet away, but only one of the barbs hit Pesare. If both barbs don't hit the target, the electric shock can't be administered, according to Loux.

Pesare made threatening motions with the knife, the report stated. Hansmann fired his gun three times, hitting the 18-year-old in the heart and lower abdomen. Paramedics pronounced him dead at 1:55 p.m.

Pesare was Polce's only child. While he had taken the antidepressant Prozac in the past, Polce told investigators that her son had not taken any medication for any of his disorders in about two years.

Early in the report, McCabe noted that Polce called Largo police almost a year ago — July 23, 2010 — because her son told her he wanted to die. Police Baker Acted Pesare that day. While en route to a mental health facility, Pesare told an officer that he never intended to kill himself, even though he told his mother he did.

Will Hobson can be reached at 727-445-4167 or whobson@sptimes.com.

Largo officers cleared in shooting of knife-wielding man 07/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.