George Zimmerman, acquitted in July in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was arrested Monday afternoon for allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend and pushing her out of her house as he packed to move out, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said.
Zimmerman barricaded himself in the house Samantha Scheibe rented in Apopka, which he had shared with her since around August, Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference. She gave deputies a key, and they pushed aside furniture he had piled against the door.
Zimmerman was unarmed and offered no resistance when he was arrested about 1 p.m. Lemma said investigators believe two weapons are in the home — a shotgun and an assault rifle — and are seeking a search warrant. The arrest report said Zimmerman had apparently locked up the shotgun before deputies arrived.
Zimmerman, 30, was booked for aggravated assault with a weapon, a felony, in addition to misdemeanor battery-domestic violence and criminal mischief. Scheibe was not injured.
He is being held without bail pending an initial court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, which is customary in domestic violence arrests. Lemma said the sheriff will ask the judge to impose electronic monitoring if bail is granted, which is also standard in such cases.
The argument between Zimmerman and Scheibe, 27, involved “some kind of separation in their relationship,” Lemma said.
According to the arrest report, after Scheibe told Zimmerman to pack his things, he “cocked the shotgun” before putting the two guns in one case. She told deputies he then became upset as she carried his belongings out and he took out the shotgun. Scheibe said she was going to call police, and Zimmerman pointed the weapon at her for a minute and “asked her if she really wanted to do that.”
Zimmerman then smashed a glass-top coffee table with the gun butt and ordered Sheibe out, she told deputies. He pushed her out and locked the door.
Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., when he shot Trayvon, 17, on Feb. 26, 2012. Trayvon was black, Zimmerman is Latino. The shooting of Trayvon, who was unarmed, touched off protests across the nation. Some of the wrath targeted the state’s “stand your ground” statute, although Zimmerman’s lawyers opted to rely on a more standard self-defense argument at trial.
Zimmerman has had several involvements with authorities since his acquittal.
Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, moved out of their house and filed for divorce in September. She and her father accused him of threatening them with a gun as they moved her belongings out of their Lake Mary home. Police handcuffed Zimmerman but later let him go.
Lake Mary police closed the case last week, saying that his wife declined to press charges and that there was no firm evidence Zimmerman had broken any laws.
He also has been pulled over three times for minor traffic incidents, twice receiving warnings and once issued a speeding ticket.