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Mom feared autistic son would be a burden. So she tried to saw his head off, Maryland cops say

Kristina Petrie is charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abuse.
Kristina Petrie is charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abuse. Montgomery County Police Department

Kristina Petrie, 46, confided in staff at the Olney, Maryland hospital after she’d done the unthinkable, according to court documents.

The woman reportedly said she’d felt “overwhelmed” and wasn’t doing enough to help her children with autism. She feared both her sons would “grow up to be a burden to society,” WJLA reported.

When Petrie was asked why she was at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, she said she’d “tried to kill her kids again,” the news station said.

The March 12 incident happened after her 11-year-old son, who has autism, went upstairs to play video games after he got home from school, authorities said. His mother, armed with a bow saw, asked him why he wasn’t doing his homework, FOX 5 reported.

Then she allegedly raised the saw at the boy and chased him, WJLA said. After pinning him down, authorities say she “jammed” its teeth against the boy’s neck and moved it back and forth multiple times, according to the news station.

Petrie’s son managed to get away from her and get the bow saw, FOX 5 reported. He wasn’t badly injured, suffering some broken skin, scabbing and cuts, authorities said.

Petrie’s husband took her to the hospital, authorities said.

The Rockville, Maryland woman was charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abuse, according to court records. She’s due in court on April 20.

Her attorney told FOX 5 that his client didn’t intend to harm the child.

She’s among several other parents recently accused of abusing or neglecting their developmentally disabled kids.

Last December, a Utah father left his “intellectually disabled” adult son on the side of the road, authorities alleged. The man told police “he and his wife no longer want” their adopted son, a 36-year-old man with the mental capacity of a 2-year-old, reports said.

Two Brookfield, Wisconsin parents convicted of locking their autistic child in an unfinished basement with no toilet or sink told a judge earlier this month that they were overwhelmed by the 13-year-old girl’s tantrums, FOX 6 reported.

“I had no idea how to take care of an autistic child,” said Alicyn Keller, the child’s mother.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Here are some of the signs and symptoms associated with autism.

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