“Zombie Walk” driver sentenced to 60 days home detention, 120 hours of volunteer work
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – 12/11/2015 – A deaf motorist who drove through a group of spectators watching the "Zombie Walk” parade in San Diego, seriously injuring one woman, was sentenced Friday to 60 days home detention and ordered to do 120 hours of volunteer work.
"Sir, you are a good man, but you made a costly mistake that day,” Judge Amalia Meza said to the defendant.
Judge Meza also placed Pocci on three years probation and made him surrender his driver’s license for at least a year.
Pocci told the judge that he was sorry that Cynthia Campbell was seriously injured, although it was totally "unintentional.”
"I do accept full responsibility for what happened,” the defendant said.
11/8/2015 – Jurors met Tuesday for deliberations in the fate of a deaf motorist accused of plowing through a group of spectators watching the "Zombie Walk," but they ended deliberations without a verdict.
Matthew Pocci, 47, testified that he was "very nervous” while waiting for pedestrians to move out of the way near Second and Island as he left the Comic-Con convention on July 26, 2014.
Pocci said he started to worry when a crowd surrounded his car and people sat on the hood.
Deputy District Attorney Anthony Campagna told jurors the defendant stopped for several minutes on Second Avenue, and even turned his engine off for a few moments, before honking his horn "loudly, aggressively” and driving into a group of onlookers, seriously injuring a woman.
Defense attorney Ashby Sorensen said his client is unable to hear, as were two other adults in the vehicle.
Sorensen said his client drove into the intersection when people waved him through, but two large men climbed on the car, "acting very rude, acting disruptive. A lot of people would think they were threatening.”
Pocci faces three years in prison if convicted of felony reckless driving causing great bodily injury.
11/2/2015 – The trial of a man who plowed through a group of "Zombie Walk" spectators is now in the hands of the jury.
The man accused of running over a woman last summer took the stand in his own defense.
An interpreter was in the courtroom to assist in the testimony of 47-year-old Matthew Pocci.
He’s the hearing impaired man who’s accused of recklessly running over spectators during the 2014 Zombie Walk at Comic-Con.
Cell phone images and video captured the moments of mayhem when Pocci drove into parade spectators at Island and 2nd Avenues. His girlfriend, her 9-year-old son and her sister were in the car.
Pocci said he waited for the parade to pass, but then panicked when some of the people in the crowd began to act aggressively. He accelerated, knocking some people over and a woman’s arm was broken when she was hit by his car.
Prosecutors said Pocci acted out of anger and extreme frustration, not fear, when he decided to use his car to forge his way through the street.
The case is now in the hands of the jury. Pocci had worked at the Comic-Con Convention earlier that day, assisting with other hearing impaired people.
If convicted of the charge of felony reckless driving causing serious injury, he could be sentenced to three years in state prison.