George Zimmerman, 30, is back in the news. On Tuesday, Sept. 9, Zimmerman was reportedly involved in a road rage incident with another man. He was also accused of following that same man two days later.
According to Mathew Apperson, 35, he was driving on the road when Zimmerman, who was driving a truck with an “unknown Hispanic male” passenger in it, pulled up beside him. The passenger reportedly accused Apperson of pointing his finger at them and demanded to know why, but Apperson says they were mistaken, he did not point his finger at them. “I was just in my car, rapping to myself,” he told the dispatcher. Apperson says both the men then threatened to beat him up and at one point, Zimmerman asked, “Do you know who I am?” and threatened to shoot and kill him.
Apperson says he then tried to drive off, but an apparently undeterred Zimmerman proceeded to follow him in his truck. Apperson claims he then pulled into a nearby Circle K to call the police, but Zimmerman remained at his tail and continued his pursuit when he pulled in, too and reportedly nearly hit him with his car. Once stopped, Zimmerman reportedly continued his tirade of threats to assault and kill Apperson before driving off.
Two days later Apperson called the police again and complained that Zimmerman followed him to his work, was watching his movements and waiting outside for him. When police arrived on the scene, they found Zimmerman there. When questioned, Zimmerman admitted that he and Apperson had exchanged some words two days prior, but told them he was not following Apperson, he merely had a doctor’s appointment in a building nearby where Apperson happens to work. Both incidents occurred in Lake Mary, Fla.
Zimmerman is best known for his controversial July 2013 acquittal of second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin. Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old who he shot and killed in February 2012 after a physical fight that stemmed from Zimmerman following the teen. It is not known who threw the first punch. Zimmerman claimed it was Martin and was able to successfully claim self-defense. Both Zimmerman and the woman Martin was on the phone with up until the physical confrontation took place acknowledge that Martin was aware of Zimmerman following him and seconds before the confrontation became physical, Martin inquired to Zimmerman as to why. The rest is unknown.
Nonetheless, the case polarized the nation, dominating the headlines. The very public, nationally televised trial has made Zimmerman involuntarily famous, known and recognized nationwide. It has reportedly left him unable to find work and unable to resume the normal life he once led. However, it has not stopped him from being at the center of various dramas (this is not the first time Zimmerman has made the news since his acquittal), a pattern that appears to have been present long before anyone knew who he was. From past relationships ending in mutual restraining orders, to allegedly assaulting a police officer, to reportedly roughing up a female party-goer while working a security job, to his cousin accusing him of molesting her (an allegation Zimmerman has not confirmed or denied), Zimmerman was no stranger to drama before his world was altered on Feb. 26, 2012. The difference is, now his drama is headline news.
Since his acquittal Zimmerman has made the news for saving a couple from a burning vehicle, three traffic stops for speeding, selling a painting for hundreds of thousands of dollars and a celebrity boxing match that was cancelled when his sponsor pulled out. He has also gone through a messy divorce from his ex-wife, Shelly Zimmerman (who was tried and convicted of perjury after reportedly lying to a judge about the couple’s financial situation). Police were called twice during domestic disputes with two different women at two different times, the first with his ex-wife last September and the second with his new girlfriend, Samantha Schiebe, last November. The two incidents this week with Apperson mark the fourth known time someone has called the police on Zimmerman since his acquittal, but like his ex-wife and Scheibe, Apperson has reportedly decided not to press charges.
By Lindsey Dow