George Zimmerman arrested on aggravated assault charge
MIAMI (AP) -- Florida authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been arrested on an aggravated assault charge.
The Seminole County Sheriff's Office says the 31-year-old Zimmerman was arrested in Lake Mary about 10 p.m. Friday and is being held at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility.
During a court appearance Saturday morning, Zimmerman's bond was set at $5,000 and he was ordered to avoid contact with the alleged victim, a woman who was not identified.
Judge John Galluzzo did not give details of the incident, but said it happened at Zimmerman's home.
Zimmerman was also told by the judge to stay out of Volusia County, where the alleged victim lives.
The judge ordered Zimmerman to pack up any personal belongings the woman may have left at Zimmerman's home and give them to his lawyer.
Zimmerman, who wore blue scrubs and handcuffs, appeared calm during the brief hearing. At one point, he laughed and joked with an officer as he signed paperwork.
Although the incident didn't involve a firearm, the judge ordered Zimmerman to surrender any weapons out of an abundance of caution.
Zimmerman is scheduled to appear back in court on Feb. 17.
No further details about the alleged assault were released. A message left for Seminole County Sheriff officials seeking further information about the incident was not immediately returned Saturday morning.
Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 of a second-degree murder charge for shooting an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin.
Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has had several brushes with the law:
- He was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief after his then-girlfriend said he pointed a gun at her face during an argument, smashed her coffee table and pushed her out of the house they shared. Samantha Scheibe decided not to cooperate with detectives and prosecutors didn't pursue the case.
- Zimmerman was accused by his estranged wife of smashing an iPad during an argument at the home they had shared. Shellie Zimmerman initially told a dispatcher her husband had a gun, though she later said he was unarmed. No charges were ever filed because of a lack of evidence. The dispute occurred days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers.
- Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic violations since his acquittal.