George Zimmerman, whose battles with the law have captivated the nation for almost two years, was arrested again Monday in Florida on charges of domestic violence, including pointing a weapon at his girlfriend.
Zimmerman, 30, was taken into custody in Apopka, Fla., where he and his girlfriend lived, and taken to the Seminole County jail, Florida officials said. He will spend the night in a 64-square-foot cell and will appear before a judge Tuesday afternoon, Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a televised news conference.
Zimmerman has had a series of scrapes with the law since his murder acquittal in the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager. He was being held on charges that included aggravated assault, battery, domestic violence and criminal mischief, Lemma said.
“We’re handling this matter in a manner that we would handle any other domestic violence matter,” despite Zimmerman’s notoriety, Lemma told reporters. Zimmerman is being held in administrative detention, which includes a single cell and hourly visits from jailers, he said.
According to Lemma, officials were notified about 12:30 p.m. of a verbal dispute at the home of Zimmerman’s girlfriend, where the former neighborhood watch volunteer also lived. Lemma said the details were unclear but it appeared that the couple was in the process of breaking up.
The girlfriend said Zimmerman broke a table and pointed “a long-barreled shotgun” at her, Lemma said. Zimmerman pushed the woman out of the home and barricaded the door, he said.
Investigators arrived and eventually entered by using a key and pushing away the furniture, Lemma said. Zimmerman offered no resistance.
He was arrested and booked at the jail about 1 p.m. His court appearance will be at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Officials are seeking a search warrant to look over the apartment. They think two weapons, which have yet to be recovered, were involved, Lemma said.
In July, a six-person jury accepted Zimmerman’s argument that he acted in self-defense when he shot Martin, 17, in February 2012 after a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman said he fired his handgun after Martin attacked him. The prosecution insisted that Zimmerman had profiled the teenager, who was returning from a convenience store.
In September, Zimmerman was handcuffed by Lake Mary, Fla., police but released after his estranged wife, Shellie, and her father accused him of threatening them with a gun while they were moving out her belongings. Last week, Lake Mary police announced they had officially closed that case, saying they had no evidence Zimmerman had broken the law.
In addition to the domestic disputes, Zimmerman has been pulled over at least three times for traffic stops since his acquittal. He was ticketed for doing 60 mph in a 45 mph zone in Lake Mary in September and was given a warning by a state trooper in Florida for having windows that were tinted too darkly.
In July, Zimmerman was stopped by Dallas police but released with a warning not to speed.
In 2005, Zimmerman had to take anger management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer. Later that year, his former fiancee sought a restraining order alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman filed a counter claim.
Both restraining orders were granted and no criminal charges filed.