A Florida man who this month fired a shot at George Zimmerman, the man acquitted of murder in the 2012 death of an unarmed black teenager, was ordered on Friday to wear a GPS tracking device to warn of possible future attacks, according to local news reports of the court hearing.
Matthew Apperson, 36, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, shooting into a vehicle and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after an encounter with Zimmerman on a road in Lake Mary, central Florida, on May 11.
In a motion asking for the GPS requirement, prosecutors said Apperson has a history of mental illness including bipolar disorder and general anxiety disorder. The motion states that Apperson had been hospitalized for mental illness three weeks before the shooting, leading his wife at that time to take away his firearm.
The motion noted that a police investigator concluded Apperson had a fixation on Zimmerman, 31.
The GPS device will give Zimmerman a “proximity alert” if Apperson comes near him, according to the motion.
Zimmerman suffered minor wounds from flying glass in the incident, police said.
After the shooting, Apperson’s lawyer Mark Nejame said his client had shot Zimmerman in self-defense. Zimmerman denied threatening Apperson before the shooting.
Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch captain when he shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, near Orlando, claiming self-defense. He was acquitted of murder in 2013.
(Reporting by Barbara Liston; Editing by David Adams and Mohammad Zargham)