Sheriff’s deputies in Seminole County, Fla. on Monday arrested and jailed George Zimmerman, just a few months after his acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The sheriff’s department provided little information about the incident, except that Zimmerman was arrested at the home of his girlfriend. Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma told reporters that Zimmerman has been charged wtih assault and battery, but that no one was hurt.
According to the official statement, Zimmerman was arrested around 1 p.m. on Topfield Court near Apopka. The Orlando Sentinel noted that Samantha Scheibe, whom Zimmerman’s estranged wife’s attorney has identified as his new girlfriend, also lives on Topfield Court.
Zimmerman has had several other encounters with law enforcement since his acquittal. He has been ticketed twice for speeding. Police intervened in a dispute between him and his wife, Shellie Zimmerman, after she filed for divorce, but no charges were filed in connection with the incident.
A former girlfriend requested a restraining order against Zimmerman in 2005, claiming that he had been violent toward her.
Opinion writer Jonathan Capehart writes that Zimmerman “is on his way to becoming the O.J. Simpson of the 21st century. That is, a notorious personality eventually put behind bars for something other than the original crime everyone believes he committed but got away with.”
Zimmerman’s acquittal in July marked the end of a controversial case. Zimmerman claimed he shot and killed Martin, 17 at the time of his death, in self defense, although Martin was unarmed. Many observers felt that race was a factor in Martin’s death. He was black, and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.