Passionate, creative, empathetic, loving, kind
At 6’3”, Vincent was a tall, handsome and stately young man with aquamarine eyes and an engaging presence that brought joy to every room he entered. He was reliable, fearless, considerate and respectful with a generous spirit and a heart of gold “He had a great laugh and could bring your spirits up if you were down,” his mother, Karen said, ‘He had a gift for making everyone feel special.”
Vincent loved music and movies–his favorites as a young boy were Frank Sinatra and West Side Story, which he watched over and over. His mom laughingly said: “He had an enormous boom box he put in his trunk, you could hear him coming from two miles away.” Vincent had a comical side, a consistently positive outlook and many interests; it was hard to know that he was suffering inside.
Vincent was a carefree kid and could be found skate boarding, bike riding, roller balding or ice-skating. He enjoyed boating and loved the beach. He loved all animals, especially his cat Valentine, a gift from his mom. As an adult, he liked to golf and ride motorcycles, listen to music, dance and cook. He also had an extensive baseball cap and CD collection. Karen said: “He made a heck of a Spanish Chicken, but I didn’t get that recipe.” He teased his mom about making better meatballs than her, and they planned to have a competition to find out!
Though Vincent had been doing drugs since about 2005, few people knew. He didn’t express his feelings or emotions and covered up his pain behind his cheerful facade. His mother found out a short time before he died when she noticed behavior changes and found syringes in his room. “I fell to my knees,” she said, ‘I didn’t know what to do.” She immediately got him into detox, but rather than being sent to rehab, he was put in a halfway house, which didn’t sufficiently address his addiction and he soon relapsed.
His mom said: “I truly believe he got locked in and couldn’t find his way back out. Drugs took over his mind, he needed them; not to get high, just to function and feel normal.”
Since Vincent’s death, Karen is his voice. She attends meetings of the Attorney General’s Heroin Education Action Team (HEAT) group and the N.C. Van Victim Assistance Network. She is also working with the District Attorney to ensure the prosecution of the drug dealer responsible for Vincent’s death who was charged with 2nd degree murder.
“I miss my boy, I cry every day,” his mom said, ‘ I can’t bring him back but maybe I can save someone else’s child.’
Vincent’s mother, Karen Saccoccio, provided the information for this narrative.
April 4, 1987-December 7, 2017
Age 30-Lived with addiction 10 years