An elderly couple have fled to a hotel room after their Sanford-area address was mistakenly linked to George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin last month.
Director Spike Lee retweeted the false address to his more than 240,000 followers last week and the address has continued to spread on social networking sites. He later deleted the retweet.
The 70-year-old Elaine McClain and her 72-year-old David McClain began receiving unwanted visits from reporters and hate mail. The couple said they feared for their lives.
“This is really scary, and I’m concerned for my family,” William George Zimmerman, their grandson, told the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s scary because there are people who aren’t mentally right and will take this information and run with it.”
William Zimmerman has not lived at the house for seven years and has no relation to the George Zimmerman who killed Martin.
The erroneous address was originally tweeted by a Los Angeles man. On Wednesday, he said he was sorry multiple times on Twitter, claiming he would mail the couple a written apology.
The elderly couple has retained the Morgan and Morgan personal injury law firm.
“At this point, they’ve had to move out of their home and their lives have been upended,” Attorney Matt Morgan told the Orlando Sentinel. “The first thing they’re hoping for is an apology and a retraction by Spike Lee.”