George Zimmerman charged after allegedly throwing wine bottle at girlfriend

Updated:

Loading

SANFORD, Fla. - George Zimmerman was arrested on an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge Friday, authorities said.

The charge stems from an alleged domestic violence incident in which Zimmerman was accused of throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend earlier this week.

The Seminole County Sheriff's Office said 31-year-old Zimmerman was arrested in Lake Mary about 10 p.m. Friday, and was taken to 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 Volusia County woman who was not identified.

Zimmerman bonded out of jail about 12:30 p.m. Saturday

Judge John Galluzzo did not give details of the incident, but said it happened at Zimmerman's home on Monday.

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, Don West.

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 Feb. 17.

West, who helped represent Zimmerman during his murder trial, spoke to the media after Zimmerman's first appearance.

“He is alleged to have thrown a wine bottle in the direction of this person,” West said. “I certainly wish that I weren’t here this morning, as I’m sure he does, too. It’s been a devastating experience that he’s had, that he’s working through.”

They said his girlfriend left the home Monday upset and was pulled over by police for a traffic violation.

She told police what happened, and it took officers until Friday night to make contact with Zimmerman and question him.

He was then arrested.

Zimmerman faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

It’s Zimmerman’s third run-in with the law since his acquittal in 2013.

“I’m not a psychologist. I don’t know how it’s manifesting itself, but I’m concerned because we’re here again,” West said.

Police were called when Zimmerman had a dispute with his wife that year, then with his girlfriend later in 2013.  

"I don't like to speculate emotional things either. It's clear he hasn't been very lucky with the ladies the last few months,” West said.

Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 of a second-degree murder charge for shooting 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.