Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Zimmerman charged with assault on girlfriend

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APOPKA, Fla. -- A former neighbourhood watch volunteer acquitted of fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager earlier this year was charged Monday with assault after his girlfriend accused him of pointing a shotgun at her during an argument, authorities said.

George Zimmerman pushed Samantha Scheibe out of the house and barricaded the door with furniture, Chief Deputy Sheriff Dennis Lemma said at a news conference hours after the arrest. Scheibe gave deputies a key to the home and they pushed open the barricaded door.

Lemma said Zimmmerman co-operated when deputies came to the house.

"The easiest way to describe it is rather passive. He's had the opportunity to encounter this before," he said.

Zimmerman was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, battery and criminal mischief.

Zimmerman, 30, was acquitted in July of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The death of the unarmed black teen touched off a nationwide debate about race and self-defence. Zimmerman, who self-identifies as Hispanic, has said he shot the 17-year-old to defend himself during a fight in February 2012 inside a gated community in Sanford, just outside Orlando.

Zimmerman has had other brushes with the law since his acquittal.

He and his estranged wife were involved in a domestic dispute in September just days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers, but police later said no charges were filed against either of them due to lack of evidence.

Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic stops since his acquittal. In one, he got a speeding ticket and in another a state trooper warned him about having a tag cover and windows that were too darkly tinted. He was also stopped near Dallas in July and was given a warning for speeding.

In 2005, Zimmerman had to take anger-management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer who was trying to arrest Zimmerman's friend.

 

--The Associated Press

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 19, 2013 A11

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