Florida man allegedly feuding with George Zimmerman charged with assault and battery
A Florida man involved in a roadway shooting earlier this week involving George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of murder in the 2012 death of unarmed black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was arrested and charged on Friday, police said.
Matthew Apperson was charged with aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon, as well as firing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle, the Lake Mary Police Department said in a statement.
The incident on a busy road in the Orlando suburb on Monday left Zimmerman with a minor injury from flying glass after being shot at through his car window by Apperson, authorities said.
“After conducting numerous interviews throughout the week, detectives determined that Mr Apperson did intentionally fire his weapon into the vehicle occupied by George Zimmerman without provocation,” the police said in a statement.
The two men had a previous roadside dispute in 2014 when Apperson accused Zimmerman of threatening to kill him but declined to press charges.
Monday’s incident was the latest brush with law enforcement for Zimmerman, 31, since Martin’s death. Zimmerman shot Martin in nearby Sanford in what Zimmerman said was self-defense.
He was arrested in January after being accused of throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend, but prosecutors dropped the charges after she recanted.
Zimmerman was arrested in November 2013 after allegedly pointing a gun at a different girlfriend during an argument. Those charges were later dropped after the woman withdrew her complaint.
Zimmerman also has drawn the attention of authorities over accusations that he had threatened his then-estranged wife.
In another incident, he was accused of threatening to kill a man in a road-rage incident and he has been stopped for speeding in Texas and Florida.
Lawyers for Zimmerman and Apperson have provided different accounts of what happened on Monday.
Apperson’s lawyer Mark NeJame told Reuters that Zimmerman brandished a gun, leading Apperson to shoot.
Zimmerman’s attorney Don West said the shooting was unprovoked.
(Reporting by David Adams; Editing by Eric Beech)