After George Zimmerman’s arrest on a charge of aggravated assault Monday, a Florida judge has set bail at $9,000 for the man who killed Trayvon Martin, and ordered him to wear a monitoring device. Police took Zimmerman into custody after his new girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, told dispatchers he had threatened her with a shotgun.
Zimmerman was acquitted this year in Martin’s death. Zimmerman acknowledged fatally shooting Martin, but said he did so in self-defense.
Zimmerman and Scheibe gave conflicting accounts of Monday’s altercation:
Scheibe accused him in the emergency call of pointing a gun at her, smashing a coffee table and then pushing her outside. Zimmerman also called dispatchers, flatly denying pointing a gun at her and blaming her for the broken table.
Scheibe told deputies the ordeal started with a verbal argument and that she asked Zimmerman to leave the house. Her account in the arrest report says he began packing his belongings, including a shotgun and an assault rifle. She says she began putting his things in the living room and outside the house, and he became upset. At that point, the report says, he took the shotgun out of its case.
Zimmerman told his girlfriend to leave and smashed a pair of her sunglasses as she walked toward the front door, the report says. Scheibe told deputies he pushed her out of the house when she got close to the door.
“You point your gun at my fricking face,” Scheibe is heard telling Zimmerman on a 911 call. “Get out of my house. Do not push me out of my house. Please get out of my house.”
Seconds later, she told the dispatcher, “You kidding me? He pushed me out of my house and locked me out. ... He knows how to do this. He knows how to play this game.”
Moments later, Zimmerman called 911 from inside the barricaded house to tell his side of the story.
“I have a girlfriend, who for lack of a better word, has gone crazy on me,” Zimmerman said.
The incident Monday was not the first time law enforcement has become involved in a domestic dispute involving Zimmerman. A woman who had been engaged to Zimmerman requested a restraining order against him in 2005. More recently, police intervened in an argument between him and his estranged wife, Shellie Zimmerman.
Opinion writer Jonathan Capehart argues that Zimmerman’s behavior has begun to fall into a pattern:
An encounter with law enforcement is a given. A woman Zimmerman is involved with at the time takes action against him. He takes similar action. And he ultimately walks away free. But the former neighborhood watch volunteer’s luck might have run out. . . .
What was interesting was why Zimmerman said he made the call. “The police is already there, so why are you calling? What happened?” the dispatcher asked. “I just want everyone to know the truth.” When the dispatcher again asked Zimmerman why he didn’t want to talk to police, Zimmerman said, “I don’t have anything to say.” But he had plenty to say on the phone. . . .
His call sounded as cold and calculated as the infamous one he made to the non-emergency line at the Sanford Police Department on Feb. 26, 2012. An unarmed 17-year-old ended up dead with a single shot to the heart. Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder in July. And he’s been in our faces for one reason or another ever since.
Public defenders representing Zimmerman say he is not a danger to himself or to anyone else, and they are confident he’ll be acquitted of the most recent charges.