Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Napa Pigs Murder Alternative Mental Health Advocate.

The family of a Napa nurse shot to death by police last week in front of his home say law enforcement officers overreacted to the 60-year-old's actions and want access to documents so they can conduct their own investigation.

Richard Poccia was shot outside his home on the 1400 block of Meek Avenue about 3:15 p.m. Sunday. Napa police opened fire on him after he pulled a knife from his waistband, according to a preliminary investigation conducted by the Napa County Sheriff's Department.

Napa County Sheriff's Capt. Tracey Stuart declined further comment Friday.

But that knife was not mentioned in early reports of the incident, said John Runfola, a San Francisco attorney who held a news conference with Poccia's widow, daughter and friends Friday. They want to see the coroner's preliminary report, any 911 calls and any communications among law enforcement.

"This was not the way to take care of this incident," Runfola said. "They (law enforcement officers) overreacted."

"He was dedicated to helping people who were sick and, in the end, when he needed help, the authorities came in and did not give him help and he wound up dead," said his daughter, Gabrielle Poccia.

Poccia, a nurse who worked in AIDS wards, psychiatric hospitals and intensive care units in the Bay Area for 24 years, had been suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and was on disability, Runfola said, adding that he had been particularly distraught last weekend.

On Sunday morning, Poccia's wife, Samanda Dorger, visited a neighbor who was concerned about Poccia. A retired Napa law enforcement officer and an active officer joined them, though Dorger said she did not invite them.

She asked the officers not to go to her house and they agreed. Dorger said she left to go shopping and run errands.

But someone called police after Dorger left.

According to the preliminary Napa sheriff's report, police were told that Poccia had weapons in the house and was proficient in martial arts.

Police went to the house and asked him to come outside.

He emerged with his hands in the air and began talking with officers, but his demeanor suddenly changed, the police report said. He reached into his waistband and took out a knife and was shot by one officer with a Taser and by another with a rifle.



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1 comment:

  1. Protectors of the public? Or half cocked power drunk law thugs? Their responsibility to our safety extends to their behavior toward the most vulnerable of citizens! There must be some justice.