The driver accused of striking pedestrians at a “zombie walk” outside the 2014 Comic-Con convention in San Diego was described as "aggressive", "impatient" and "super angry” just before his car plowed into the crowd Wednesday.
At the preliminary hearing, where a judge decides if a case has enough evidence for a trial, many testified about how angry the defendant was the day of the crash.
Matthew Pocci has pleaded not guilty to reckless driving through a crowd of pedestrians for the incident that occurred at 2nd and Island avenues on July 26, 2014.
One San Diegan, Cyndy Campbell, was seriously injured during the incident and says her life hasn't been the same since.
She was watching and taking pictures at the walk when she says Pocci ran her over with his car, something he has since apologized for in an interview with NBC 7.
In a previous interview, Pocci told NBC 7 the crowd was out of control and he feared for his family's safety.
The first of more than a dozen witnesses to be called over the next two days described an angry driver who started slowly pushing the crowd as people pleaded for him to stop and then accelerated rapidly running people over.
Witness Anna Bettencourt testified, “I was standing right next to the car and the car accelerated really quick.”
She said immediately afterward she heard screaming.
Under cross-examination, she testified she could not hear anything Pocci was saying.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy Zachariah Adams was off-duty and with his family when he noticed a car moving toward the crowd. He approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and knocked on the window. He testified Pocci could see him at his window but he didn’t look at him.
“As he started to hit people in the crowd people jumped on the vehicle,” the deputy testified adding that a man in white shorts sat on the car’s hood and punched the car’s windshield.
Under cross-examination, Adams said the driver did not seem angry. He also confirmed that he told a responding San Diego Police officer that people were “pounding on the car.”
Pedi-cab driver Saad Zaalan testified a driver who was honking at him was “super angry.”
Zaalan said he repositioned his pedi-cab to try and tell the driver he had to wait until the parade was over.
“He wouldn't look at me when I was talking to him he just kept honking and rolled the window up,” he said.
Zaalan also testified a woman wearing a badge tried to talk to the driver through an open window on the passenger’s side.
Under cross-examination, Zaalan said when people jumped on his car, Pocci got angry and drove forward.
Victim Paul Bourus said he soon realized Pocci would not stop screaming because he was upset.
"At the time, I got about halfway past his hood, he lunged his car at me and hit me and that's whn I realized this guy was completely out of control," Bourus said. "So he hit me on my lower right leg and like I said, I was already past the middle of his hood and I jumped out of the way."
Pocci said he feared for his life as people jumped on the car.
He faces three years in prison if convicted. He has filed a lawsuit against the City of San Diego for poor crowd control during the event.