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‘Suicide by Cop’ Teen Left Apology

November 17, 1997

SYOSSET, N.Y. (AP) _ A teen-ager who was shot to death by police after he waved a toy gun at officers left a note saying he wanted to die and was sorry he had forced them to kill him.

The letter, addressed ``To the officer who shot me,″ was left Friday night by Moshe Pergament, 19, of Manhasset Hills. He apparently was despondent over World Series betting losses that police estimated at $6,000.

His death at the hands of two Nassau County police officers was called ``a classic case of suicide by cop″ by Detective Lt. Kevin Caslin, a police spokesman.

``Officer, It was a plan,″ the note began.

``I just needed to die. Please send my letters and break the news slowly to my family and let them know I had to do this. And that I love them very much. I’m sorry for getting you involved. Please remember that this was all my doing. You had no way of knowing.″

Nine other notes addressed to family members and friends were found in his car.

Pergament was stopped for speeding on the Long Island Expressway. He was shot after he advanced on two officers with a $1.79 plastic toy gun and ignored repeated commands to drop it, Caslin said.