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George Zimmerman Faces Possible Domestic Violence Charges after Fight With Girlfriend

( [email protected] ) Jan 29, 2015 07:43 PM EST
George Zimmerman, who was once at the center of a national debate on race and self-defense laws when he murdered an unarmed black man in Florida, is back in the spotlight after facing possible aggravated assault and domestic violence charges.
George Zimmerman faces more problems with the law with recent allegations of domestic abuse. Photo: Getty Images

George Zimmerman, who was once at the center of a national debate on race and self-defense laws when he murdered an unarmed black man in Florida, is back in the spotlight after facing possible aggravated assault and domestic violence charges.

The 31-year-old man was arrested last week in Lake Mary, Florida after allegations from his former girlfriend that he had thrown a wine bottle at her during an argument. Zimmerman was released on $5,000 bond, but was forced to surrender any firearms he owns even though there was no gun used in the alleged abuse.

Don West, Zimmerman's attorney, said that the incident happened several days before his arrest, but the police weren't notified until they came in contact with the alleged victim during a traffic stop in which the officers pulled her over for not having her lights on.

During the stop, the unnamed woman claims that she was in a hurry because her boyfriend, Zimmerman, threw a bottle at her. Although she admits that the bottle didn't hit her, neighbors say that they heard glass breaking before the woman pulled away.

Zimmerman disputes the claims, saying that, instead, he was preventing her from entering his home after she destroyed his cell phone the week before.

Police report that the woman was "extremely emotional, crying, mad and upset" and stopped cooperating with officers when she learned that there would be an investigation. She referred to Zimmerman as "that psycho, Zimmerman" in reports and admits that she had an "intimate relationship" with him since last year.

George Zimmerman is most notorious for being acquitted by a Florida grand jury for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012. During that case, it was revealed that Zimmerman had chased the unarmed teen while acting as the neighborhood watch in his gated community. Despite dispatcher advice for him to stop chasing the teen, the two entered into a confrontation that resulted in Trayvon's death by a single gun shot.

But according to Florida's Stand Your Ground law, Zimmerman was shown to be acting in self-defense and was acquitted of the second-degree murder charges. This ruling sparked worldwide outrage from protesters who demanded that Martin's death was the result of a "wannabe cop" who targeted Martin because of his race.

Since that 2013 ruling, Zimmerman has faced several brushes with the law. Two weeks after the acquittal, Zimmerman was pulled over for speeding in north Texas, and later that year he was arrested on aggravated assault and domestic violence charges after his then-girlfriend said that he pointed a gun at her during an argument. She dropped the charges and Zimmerman was not charged.

Then in September of 2014, Zimmerman was involved in a traffic altercation where a man claimed that Zimmerman said "I will kill you" and "Do you know who I am?" But again Zimmerman was not arrested or charged.

This most recent accusation comes during what West calls a "devastating experience that he's had that he's working through," referring to the backlash from the Trayvon Martin shooting. West says that Zimmerman has yet to find a full-time job and is struggling.

"I'm concerned, obviously, as we are here again this morning," the attorney said. 

Zimmerman's court date for this latest altercation is set for February 17.