Adult punches moun­tain lion to save girl in park

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - NEWS -

CUPERTINO >> A state park in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia re­mained closed Tues­day af­ter a moun­tain lion at­tacked a 6-year-old girl while she walked on a trail, of­fi­cials said.

The girl was at the Ran­cho San An­to­nio County Park and Open Space Pre­serve in Cupertino when a moun­tain lion at­tacked her Sun­day, the Cal­i­for­nia De­part­ment of Fish and Wildlife said in a state­ment.

The child was about 2 miles from the main park­ing lot when a moun­tain lion at­tacked her. Adults who were with her scared the big cat away, the de­part­ment said. Rangers with the Mid­penin­sula Re­gional Open Space Dis­trict treated the girl for mi­nor in­juries.

The 6-year-old was with her par­ents in a group of six adults and four chil­dren. An adult who was with them res­cued her by punch­ing the an­i­mal in the ribs.

“Right about when it grabbed ahold of the girl, there was an adult there that pushed the lion away into the bushes, and it ran off,” Brad Pen­ning­ton, a ranger with Mid­penin­sula Re­gional Open Space Dis­trict, told KGO. “She has mi­nor in­juries, a cou­ple punc­ture wounds on her calf, and she was treated for mi­nor first aid. Then, her par­ents took her to the hos­pi­tal.”

Rangers are try­ing to find and pos­i­tively iden­tify the moun­tain lion and that the park will re­main closed un­til they de­ter­mined it is safe, of­fi­cials said.

Pend­ing in­for­ma­tion from a county pro­ba­tion re­port, a Solano County Su­pe­rior Court judge resched­uled sen­tenc­ing to March for a 47-year-old Va­cav­ille man found guilty in Jan­uary of try­ing to kill an­other man two years ago in Va­cav­ille.

With a de­fense at­tor­ney on Tues­day telling Judge Stephanie Gro­gan Jones that he had not re­ceived the pro­ba­tion doc­u­ment, she or­dered Joseph Michael Finoc­chio to re­turn to De­part­ment 5 at 8:30 a.m. March 20 for the pro­ceed­ing.

Finoc­chio, who faces as much as 43 years in state prison be­cause of his prior felony record and en­hance­ments, looked dour and ap­peared to mum­ble a few words to his lawyer, Cur­tis Boyd, as he learned of the new court date. Im­me­di­ately af­ter­ward, a sher­iff’s deputy es­corted him out of Fair­field court­room and back to jail.

When Finoc­chio ap­pears again in Jones’ court­room, she also will con­sider Boyd’s Romero mo­tion, a re­quest for the judge not con­sider prior strikes as part of the sen­tenc­ing.

A jury of six men and six women on Jan. 22 found Finoc­chio guilty of at­tempted mur­der with­out pre­med­i­ta­tion when he shot and wounded James W. Ma­son, also an ex-con, on Jan. 20, 2018, in the North Vil­lage sub­di­vi­sion. Their vi­o­lent face-off was re­port­edly prompted by Ma­son’s be­friend­ing Finoc­chio’s ex-girl­friend, Nancy Ot­tinger.

Ju­rors be­lieved the pros­e­cu­tion’s case ar­gued by Deputy Dis­trict At­tor­ney Young Kim, who got a wit­ness to tes­tify that the firearm used in the shoot­ing was an un­reg­is­tered .22-cal­iber Brown­ing semi­au­to­matic hand­gun.

The firearm was an el­e­ment in an “old story,” as Kim said in his clos­ing ar­gu­ment, that was about “love, break-up, anger, jeal­ousy” and enough jeal­ously that con­trib­uted to Finoc­chio’s fir­ing sev­eral shots at Ma­son, one of them strik­ing him in the chest, near the in­ter­sec­tion of North Sta­tion Drive and Twi­light Street.

He noted that Finoc­chio and Ma­son had en­gaged in a fight on Jan. 18, re­mind­ing ju­rors that a wit­ness heard Finoc­chio say on Jan. 19 that he would kill Ma­son and Ot­tinger if he saw them both again, and

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