No charges were filed against George Zimmerman after an alleged altercation with his estranged wife and her father, Lake Mary (Florida) Police Chief Steve Bracknell said Monday. Vivian Kuo reports for CNN.
“Shellie Zimmerman has declined prosecution (after consulting with her attorney),” Bracknell said.
Police answered a 911 call from Shellie Zimmerman on Monday afternoon during which she said George Zimmerman had threatened her and her father with a weapon. Officers detained George Zimmerman but never arrested him, police said. Detectives later came to the home to interview him.
The question of the gun became confused later when police told reporters there was no gun involved, but George Zimmerman’s attorney told CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 that he believed his client had a firearm on him.
“He acted appropriately. He never took the weapon out,” said Mark O’Mara, who is also a CNN legal analyst. O’Mara said he never saw the gun.
When asked Monday night by CNN for clarification about the gun, a spokesman for O’Mara’s law firm, Shawn Vincent, said there was no update yet.
The incident stemmed from a visit by Shellie Zimmerman, who filed for divorce last week, and her father, David Bryant Dean. They came to the house the couple used to share to pick up some of her belongings.
George Zimmerman and his wife texted Monday morning, and she told him she was going over to the house, according to a person with whom the family shared the photos of the texts.
George Zimmerman came to the house with a friend of his and got into a heated discussion with Dean, O’Mara said.
During the altercation, Zimmerman smashed his wife’s iPad.
Shellie Zimmerman called police as George Zimmerman sat in his truck with his friend.
On the 911 call, Shellie Zimmerman is breathing heavily when she tells a dispatcher that Zimmerman is still at the house.
“He’s in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun, and he’s saying, ‘Step closer.’ He’s just threatening all of us with his firearm,” she says.
Shellie Zimmerman also tells 911 that George Zimmerman punched her father in the nose, then smashed her iPad before getting in his truck.
“I don’t know what he’s capable of. I’m really, really scared,” she says.
The incident comes two months after Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was found not guilty of murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.
O’Mara said, “There was heightened emotion, and a disagreement took place.”
O’Mara said Shellie Zimmerman no longer lives at the house, which is owned by her father.
After he was initially detained by officers, George Zimmerman was interviewed at the house by detectives, Lake Mary police spokesman Zach Hudson said.
Zimmerman had offered to turn over surveillance tapes from security cameras at the house to investigators.
Shellie Zimmerman called 911 just after 2 p.m. ET, Bracknell said earlier.
Police said Dean spoke with first responders but was not treated by paramedics.
George’s brother, Robert, tweeted after his brother’s detention that the public shouldn’t “jump to conclusions.”
Shellie Zimmerman’s divorce filing last week in Seminole County, Florida came after she pleaded guilty to perjury on August 28, 2013 for lying about the state of the couple’s finances during a bond hearing in April 2012. She had claimed she and her husband were broke, when in reality they had collected about $135,000 in donations.
Since his acquittal on July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman has been in the headlines several times. In late July, he reportedly helped a family escape from an overturned SUV. A report from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office confirmed his involvement.
More recently, Zimmerman has been pulled over in traffic twice. The first time, he was given a verbal warning for a traffic violation in Texas and reportedly told officers he had a firearm in his glove compartment. The second time was in Florida last week, when he was issued a $256 ticket for speeding.
If you are a man or woman who is a victim of domestic violence, the Men’s Divorce Law Firm urges you to seek professional help by contacting local law enforcement, a professional counselor or a domestic violence center.