Jury selection resumes in Zombie Walk case
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Jury selection will resume Monday for the trial of a deaf motorist accused of driving his car through a crowd watching the "Zombie Walk” parade during this year’s Comic-Con convention, seriously injuring one woman.
Matthew Pocci, 47, faces three years in prison if convicted of felony reckless driving causing great bodily injury. Once a jury is seated, opening statements are expected to get underway.
A pedicab driver testified during a preliminary hearing earlier this year that Pocci was "super angry” before accelerating and plowing through the crowd on July 26, 2014.
Saad Zaalan said the defendant was honking his horn and waving his arms as if he wanted Zaalan to move out of the way as the "Zombie Walk” proceeded through Island and Second avenues.
Zaalan said he tried to explain to Pocci that he would have to wait until the convention-goers passed by and the crowd dissipated, but the defendant rolled up his window.
The witness said people from the "Zombie Walk” jumped onto the front end of Pocci’s car before the defendant drove off, striking a woman who suffered a serious arm injury.
Deputy District Attorney Anthony Campagna said Pocci — who had worked at the Comic-Con convention earlier in the day — came upon several hundred adults, teenagers and children participating in the annual "Zombie Walk” parade about 5 p.m.
Campagna said Pocci stopped his car about two to three car lengths behind the parade-goers — some dressed in Halloween-type costumes — and turned off the car engine and waited for about 10 minutes before deciding to drive through the crowd.
Defense attorney Ashby Sorensen said Pocci was "scared and frightened” when people in the crowd surrounded his car and took the action he felt was prudent.
Pocci wanted to protect himself, his girlfriend, her sister and his girlfriend’s 9-year-old son in the car, Sorensen said.
Pocci — who stayed at the scene — was not initially cited, but the District Attorney’s Office reviewed the case and in February sent the defendant a letter informing him of the charge.