UPDATE, 2:01 PM: “Sir, you are a good man, but you made a costly mistake that day,” Judge Amalia Meza told Matthew Pocci today of his striking a woman with his car at Comic-Con 2014’s ZombieWalk. The remarks from the bench came as Pocci was sentenced to 60-days of home confinement and 120 hours of volunteer work for the incident. Last month Pocci was found guilty by a San Diego jury of a felony charge of reckless driving. He could have faced up to 3-years behind hars.
PREVIOUS, NOV. 4 AM: A San Diego jury decided today that Matthew Pocci will face up to three years behind bars for hitting a woman with his car during ZombieWalk at the 2014 Comic-Con. The guilty verdict comes after just a day of deliberation on the felony charge of reckless driving resulting in serious injury. Sentencing is set for December 11.
The deaf motorist and SDCC volunteer struck a 64-year-old woman on July 26, 2014, as he drove his car through an overflowing crowd watching that year’s annual ZombieWalk. Pocci testified in the weeklong trial that he felt “very nervous” on his way out the San Diego Convention Center that day while costumed revelers and pedestrians filled the streets. Pocci’s girlfriend, her mother and 9-year-old son also were in the car; the two other adults are also hearing impaired.
After stopping his car for a while at the Gaslamp Quarter intersection of Island Avenue and Second Avenue, Pocci claimed he was waved through by those on the street. He only stepped on the gas after feeling threatened when two men in costume leapt on the front of his car. As video that Deadline posted that week showed, one of the men started smashing Pocci’s front windshield.
During the trial, Deputy DA Anthony Campagna told jurors that an impatient Pocci was hitting the horn on his car “loudly, aggressively” before driving into the parade crowd after a pedicab pulled in front of him. Witness claim that they were yelling at Pocci to stop and putting their hands up to indicate that as well. His car drove over the female victim’s arm, breaking it. Pocci stopped a couple blocks later and waited for the SDPD to arrive.
While Pocci was not charged the time, the D.A.’s office reviewed the case a few months later and decided to move forward with prosecution.
The ZombieWalk itself was canceled for this year’s SDCC and looks not to be coming back anytime soon.