When police entered his second-grade classroom, Aidan, an 8-year-old Colorado boy, was in the midst of a violent tantrum, wielding a sharp piece of molding he had ripped off the wall and used to threaten his teachers' lives.
His mother, however, says there's no excuse for what happened next.
Police, seeking to diffuse the situation, sprayed Aidan with pepper spray, twice.
"He's a child. There were two grown police officers and they didn't even try to talk to him," Aidan's mom, Mandy Elliott, said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America." "You talk to him and you find out what it is that's bothering him as well. You don't just walk in, ask him to stop and then spray."
Aidan, however, says he understood the officers' actions.
"I kinda deserved it," he told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday. "I just get angry a lot."
But the unusual confrontation, which took place Feb. 22 at Glennon Heights Elementary School in Lakewood, Colo., has some questioning whether police used excessive force. Elliott says she's filing a complaint with the Police Department.
Lakewood police say they have no regrets and did their best to make sure no one was harmed in the classroom, where teachers were so afraid of Aidan that they had barricaded themselves in a closet.
"You've got teachers barricading themselves in a room. They are obviously frightened," Lakewood Police spokesman Steve Davis told KUSA-TV. "I think they not only made the right choice, they made a great choice that day to use the pepper spray."
When asked if he had intended to use the wall trim as a weapon and actually hurt his teachers, Aidan replied, "Um, kind of."
Later, though, he said he was sorry for the way he had behaved.
The Lakewood school district includes Columbine High School, the scene of the 1999 school shooting that left 15 people dead.
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