Driver charged with felony in ‘zombie walk’ incident at Comic Con

A driver faces a felony charge for hitting a pedestrian during the "zombie walk" at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego in 2014.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

A deaf man who drove into a crowd of pedestrians during the “zombie walk” outside last year’s Comic Con convention in San Diego has been charged with felony reckless driving causing bodily injury.

Matthew Pocci Jr., 48, was driving with his girlfriend when the incident occurred, hitting a 64-year-old woman.

Pocci is set to be arraigned in San Diego Superior Court on March 9.

Pocci’s lawyer, Dan Gilleon, said Wednesday that prosecutors decided to file a charge “even though cops admitted the deaf driver was scared after being swarmed.”


The zombie walk, an unofficial high point of the annual convention, involves conventioneers in frightening costumes and painted faces walking on the streets near the convention center.

The incident began around 5:30 p.m. on July 26 when Pocci was stopped at an intersection waiting for the marchers to pass by, police said.

After waiting several minutes, Pocci drove slowly forward because children in his car were afraid of the marchers, police said.

Several of the zombie marchers surrounded the car and began pounding on it. Some jumped on the vehicle, and the windshield was shattered, police said.

The woman was then struck by the car and fell underneath the vehicle, police said. Members of the crowd chased the car as it moved forward until the driver spotted a police officer and stopped.

Neither Pocci nor the injured woman were part of the zombie walk.

The woman was a pedestrian who became intermingled with the conventioneers as they crossed the street in front of the car. A video shows her falling to the ground as the car speeds off.

Among the persons participating in the walk was San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, although she did not witness the incident. Pocci has filed a claim with the city, charging that the police did not adequately supervise the march to prevent accidents.