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George Zimmerman charged with felony aggravated assault

George Zimmerman was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault Monday after Seminole County deputies responded to a disturbance call in Apopka, Fla.
George Zimmerman arrives for his trial, July 10, 2013.
George Zimmerman arrives for his trial, July 10, 2013.

updated 8:30 p.m.

George Zimmerman, who was acquitted this summer in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, is in legal trouble again.

He has been charged with felony aggravated assault, battery domestic violence, and criminal mischief after a domestic dispute involving his girlfriend.

“He’s in my house breaking all my s*** because I asked him to leave,” Samantha Scheibe can be heard telling the dispatcher during a recording of the 911 call. “He has his freaking gun, breaking all of my stuff right now.”

Seminole County Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma announced the charges in a press conference Monday, and shared the account of the event offered by Scheibe, Zimmerman’s girlfriend.

Scheibe told officers that Zimmerman broke a table and pointed a long-barreled shotgun at her during a verbal dispute at the home they shared in Apopka, Fla. When she walked to the front door while calling 911 on her cell phone, she alleges, Zimmerman pushed her out the door, and then barricaded the door with furniture. Seminole County deputies found the door barricaded when they arrived approximately three minutes later, according to Lemma. 

“I’m doing this again? You just broke my glass table, you just broke my sunglasses and you put your gun in my freaking face, and told me to get the f*** out, because this is your house,” she can be heard yelling during the call, presumably at Zimmerman, adding “No, get out of here.”

“Are you f***ing kidding me,” she said later. “He just pushed me out of my house and locked me out.”

“He knows how to do this. He knows how to play this game,” she said later to the dispatcher. When asked what started the dispute, Scheibe said, “I asked him to leave.”

She also told the dispatcher that Zimmerman used a shotgun to “smash” her possessions, and that he owns multiple guns, including an AR-15, and two handguns. 

When deputies began to arrive on the scene, Scheibe said to the dispatcher that she didn’t want to return to the home, adding, “I don’t think he’d do anything but I don’t think he’s [got nothing to lose] at this point.”

In a separate 911 call, Zimmerman tells a dispatcher that his girlfriend has “for lack of a better word, gone crazy on me.”

“I just want everyone to know the truth,” he said, when asked what happened.

“She’s got a 9 millimeter, I have my firearms,” he said later. “She was throwing my stuff out, and one of the bags was one of my firearms. I never pulled a firearm, I never displayed it. When I was packing it I’m sure she saw it, we keep it next to the bed.”

He tells the dispatcher his weapon is “in a bag, locked.”

Zimmerman also told the dispatcher Scheibe was “pregnant with our child,” and that the fight began as she changed her mind over what he described as a mutually-agreed upon decision for him to leave.

“At first she was letting me pack my stuff so that I could go, you know, we could go our own ways amicably,” he said. “When she changed she just started smashing stuff, taking stuff that belonged to me, throwing it outside, throwing it out of her room, throwing it all over the house.”

“She broke a glass table, because she threw something on it, I don’t even know if I was mine or hers, whatever it was. She got mad that I guess that I told her I would be willing to leave. I guess she thought that I was going to argue with her but she’s pregnant I’m not going to put her through that kind of stress.”

Responding officers reported that Zimmerman was unarmed when they arrived on the scene and offered no resistance to deputies as they took him into investigative detention.  

Police said that the residence is rented in Scheibe’s name but that she and Zimmerman have lived there together since August, according to Lemma’s rough estimation. Lemma also denied that Scheibe is pregnant, contrary to Zimmerman’s claim in the 911 call.

Zimmerman is due to appear in court Tuesday at 1:30 p.m, where a judge will decide whether or not to grant him bond and whether or not there was probable cause for his arrest. The Seminole County Sheriff’s office has requested he be given electronic monitoring, an “extra step” Lemma said is standard protocol in domestic violence cases.

Apopka is located about 15 miles from Lake Mary, Fla., where police responded to an incident in September after Zimmerman was involved in an argument with his estranged wife, Shellie Zimmerman, and her father. She did not press charges, and the Lake Mary Police investigating the incident and found no evidence to justify charges. 

On Monday afternoon, even as Florida police were dealing with the latest Zimmerman incident, Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, was speaking at Harvard Law School about Stand Your Ground laws. Zimmerman did not invoke the law in his defense in his trial–he claimed to have shot Martin in self-defense after the unarmed teen attacked him, and was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter–but the laws have become the focus of protests, particularly among African-Americans.