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Zagari pleads guilty
by Patrice Walsh
A month before he was scheduled to go on trial for threatening a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy with what appeared to be a real gun, 22-year-old Vincenzo Zagari pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court.
Zagari pleaded guilty to menancing a police officer and two counts of attempted robbery. He told the judge: “I pointed a fake gun at the police officer.”
Zagari admitted to the judge that he posed a threat to the deputy, who then shot him 5 times.
It was his decision to plead guilty, according to his mother, AnnMarie Zagari. She told us the family is heartbroken but doesn’t hate him for anything he has done and will never consider him a criminal.
AnnMarie Zagari said her son was a gifted athlete and student until he got hooked on heroin at age 18. She said it all started with one pill. A painkiller he took after a sports injury.
Zagari said the addiction is devastating and that she and her family have “been through hell” to try and get him clean.
She said they were always there for their son and put him in sports to keep him busy so he wouldn’t get into trouble. But she said that injury and the subsequent abuse of painkillers, lead him on a destructive path to addiction.
She blames his actions on January 22nd in Pittsford on his heroin addiction. In addition to threatening a police officer, Zagari also admitted he used the same BB gun to threaten the driver of a minivan that he tried to carjack as he ran from police.
He said he also pointed the BB gun at a bank teller in Spencerport the day before, demanding money. But left when he said she didn’t give him anything.
Zagari said she is proud of his son for taking responsibility for what he did and that she will always love him and be there to hold his hand.
She said this has been difficult for the family but many were in court to support him Wednesday as he pleaded guilty to the charges.
Prosecutor Pat Farrell said he also commends Zagari for admitting his guilt and said his actions threatened the safety of Deputy Bridget Davis, and put her in a potentially-dangerous situation.
Farrell said the District Attorney’s office agreed to the plea deal because Zagari is still pleading guilty to the maximum charges he could have faced.
He will be sentenced on September 16th to 12 years in prison but will likely serve 10 and a half, because of time already served since he was arrested.