*All three major cable news networks broke into regularly scheduled programming Tuesday afternoon to carry the live arraignment of George Zimmerman following his arrest Monday for aggravated assault, battery domestic violence and criminal mischief. The charges stem from a domestic dispute with his girlfriend Samantha Scheibe.
Zimmerman’s bail was set at $9,000, he was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device and stay at least 1,500 feet away from the residence where the incident occurred. The judge declared he would be denied the use of guns until the issue is resolved.
In addition, prosecutors revealed that Scheibe, 27 reported to them another choking incident that occurred one week earlier.
Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer, was acquitted of any charges in the 2012 fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin.
Samantha Scheibe claimed Zimmerman had smashed a glass table, threatened her with a shotgun and ultimately pushed her out of the house she rented.
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.”
Listen to the Scheibe’s 911 call below.
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.
Zimmerman then said he never pulled a gun on his girlfriend and that it was she who smashed a table at the home they shared. He also told the dispatcher that Scheibe was pregnant with their child and that she had decided she would raise the child on her own. When Zimmerman started to leave, “she got mad,” he said.
Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference that Scheibe wasn’t pregnant.
Deputies used a key provided by Scheibe to unlock the door and they were able to push through the barricade of items, Lemma said.
“She was very concerned for her own safety, especially having the weapon pointed at her and then being pushed out,” he said.
Lemma says Zimmerman was compliant and unarmed when deputies came to the house.
“The easiest way to describe it is rather passive. Clearly, he’s had the opportunity to encounter situations similar to this in the past,” Lemma said.
Zimmerman has had other brushes with the law since his acquittal.
Zimmerman and his estranged wife were involved in a domestic dispute in September just days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers, but police later said no charges were filed against either of them because of a lack of evidence.
Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic stops since his acquittal. He was ticketed for doing 60 mph in a 45 mph zone in Lake Mary, Fla., in September and was given a warning by a state trooper along Interstate 95 for having a tag cover and windows that were too darkly tinted. He was also stopped near Dallas in July and given a warning for speeding.
In 2005, Zimmerman had to take anger management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer who was trying to arrest Zimmerman’s friend.
Later that year, Zimmerman’s former fiancee filed for a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman responded by requesting a restraining order against her. Both requests were granted. No criminal charges were filed.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the Martin family, was at Harvard Law School on Monday with the teen’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, to speak at a symposium about Martin’s legacy and self-defense laws.
In a telephone interview, Crump said they found out about Zimmerman’s arrest from television reports. He said the news of the arrest didn’t affect their mood because they are focused on discussing ways to reform self-defense laws.
“They’re focused on how we can all better deal with conflict resolution. But there is a certain irony in that while they were doing that, at basically the same time that incident was happening with their son’s killer,” Crump said.
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