Sunday, April 22, 2018
Public safety

George Zimmerman arrested again after disturbance call

APOPKA — George Zimmerman was charged with assault Mon­day after his girl­friend called deputies to the home where they were living and claimed he pointed a shotgun at her during an argument, authorities said.

The girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, called 911 in the early afternoon to say that Zimmerman had smashed a glass table, threatened her with the shotgun and ultimately pushed her out of the house, according to an arrest report. After pushing her out, Zimmerman barricaded the door with furniture and refused to leave, saying that he would talk to police by phone, authorities said.

The arrest was the latest legal problem for Zimmerman since he was acquitted of criminal charges earlier this year in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen. The case, and claims that the killing was racially motivated, stoked a discussion on racial profiling across the country.

"You point your gun at my fricking face," Samantha Scheibe is heard telling Zimmerman on a 911 call. "Get out of my house. Do not push me out of my house. Please get out of my house."

Seconds later, she told the dispatcher, "You kidding me? He pushed me out of my house and locked me out. … He knows how to do this. He knows how to play this game."

Moments later, Zimmerman called 911 from inside the barricaded house to tell his side of the story.

"I have a girlfriend, who for lack of a better word, has gone crazy on me," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman then said he never pulled a gun on his girlfriend, and that it was Scheibe who smashed a table at the home they shared.

He also told the dispatcher that Scheibe was pregnant with their child and that she had decided she would raise the child on her own. When Zimmerman started to leave, "she got mad," he said.

Seminole County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Dennis Lemma said at a news conference that Scheibe isn't pregnant.

Deputies used a key provided by Scheibe to unlock the door and they were able to push through the barricade of items, Lemma said.

Lemma said Zimmerman was compliant and unarmed when deputies came to the house.

"The easiest way to describe it is rather passive. Clearly, he's had the opportunity to encounter situations similar to this in the past," he said.

Zimmerman was charged with domestic aggravated assault with a weapon, domestic battery and criminal mischief. His first court appearance was scheduled for this afternoon. He will be housed in a single-person cell and guards will check on him hourly, Lemma added.

Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Martin family, was at Harvard Law School on Monday with the teen's mother, Sybrina Fulton, to speak at a symposium about his legacy and self-defense laws.

Crump said they found out about Zimmerman's arrest from television reports. He said the news of the arrest didn't affect their mood because they are focused on discussing ways to reform self-defense laws.

Neither Mark O'Mara nor Don West — Zimmerman's defense attorneys during the trial of the Martin case — is currently representing him, said a spokesman for O'Mara.

Scheibe's neighbors said it was frightening to learn that Zimmerman had been living nearby.

"Just when you thought you heard the last of George Zimmerman," said neighbor Catherine Cantrell in Apopka, about 15 miles northwest of Orlando.

"It's kind of frightening," she said.

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