Miami (AFP) – George Zimmerman, the U.S. neighborhood watchman whose shooting of an unarmed black teenager triggered a national scandal, has been arrested again in an alleged domestic violence case, authorities said.
Don Eslinger, the sheriff in Florida’s Seminole County, said Zimmerman was detained Monday after police were called to a “disturbance” at a residence near the town of Apopka.
“Mr. Zimmerman has been arrested and was being driven to the county jail in Sanford this afternoon,” Eslinger told reporters.
The woman, described as his girlfriend and identified as Samantha Scheibe, said Zimmerman had pointed a shotgun at her, media reports said.
Local WESH television reported that Zimmerman was accused of an assault.
Zimmerman is married but separated and in the process of divorcing.
He was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, which is a felony, and battery and criminal mischief.
Police Lt. Dennis Lemma said authorities responded to a call at the home of Scheibe, U.S. media reported.
Scheibe said Zimmerman had forced her out of her home and barricaded the door with furniture.
Officers opened the door, pushed away the furniture and found Zimmerman inside. No one was hurt and no one else was at the home when deputies arrived, Lemma said.
Zimmerman was not armed and offered no resistance. But police found two guns in the home and took Zimmerman into custody. He will make his initial court appearance before a judge on Tuesday, Lemma said.
In September, Zimmerman’s wife accused him of domestic violence but he was not charged in that incident.
The 30-year-old admitted to shooting unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in self-defense during a violent struggle in 2012.
In July, a jury found him not guilty on a charge of second-degree murder and he walked free.
The shooting happened when Zimmerman was following Martin on suspicion the 17-year-old, who had just bought a bottle of ice tea and candy, was involved in robberies in the neighborhood.
An initial decision by Florida investigators not to press charges set off widespread protests, with Martin’s supporters alleging racism and pointing to the fact that the teenager was unarmed and had no criminal record.
The incident was widely covered by the national media, and also ignited debate over the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows the use of a gun in self-defense even when it is possible to flee.
Copyright 2013 The National Memo