The man who drove into a crowd of "zombie walkers" at Comic-Con last year believes he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Michael O. Pocci, who is deaf, is now charged with a felony count of reckless driving resulting in a serious injury. On July 26, 2014, he and his family, all inside a car, found themselves surrounded by a throng of pseudo-zombies marching in the Gaslamp District. As he surged forward, he hit a 64-year-old woman, injuring her arm.
Pocci, describing the events through an American Sign Language interpreter Wednesday, mostly blames the commotion of the crowd for the woman's injuries. He signed that charges should be brought against a man who banged on his windshield causing him to panic and drive away.
He signed that the crowd was out of control, banging on his car, screaming things at him and his family that none of them could hear or understand, and opening the car doors.
"I was so nervous that someone was going to come into my car that I tried to go through a little bit slowly, but that's when someone banged on my windshield," Pocci said. "That's when someone banged on my windshield and you know cracked the glass and after that I was so petrified that I decided to just go through."
When asked if he would have done anything differently now that he's learned more about what was happening at the time, he signed: "Would I change anything? That's a really hard question to answer."
"I could only do based on what I saw and what I thought would be the right thing for me to do," Pocci signed.
The man's attorney, Ashby Sorensen, said the case will hinge on Pocci's state of mind at the time of the incident and his intent.
"What was he thinking? And was it reasonable?" said Sorensen, who believes the collision happened because the crowd took on a mob mentality, aiming outrage at a car full of people who are handicapped and could not hear them.
Pocci is facing three years in prison if convicted on the felony charge. He has entered a not guilty plea to that charge.
Pocci signed that he's never been in an accident like that before and never hit anyone in his car. He communicated that if he could, he would tell the woman whose arm was broken how horrible he feels that she was hurt.
Pocci and the woman are both suing the city for what they maintain was poor crowd control at the event.