George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has had a series of run-ins with girlfriends, his ex-wife and random strangers since killing an unarmed black teenager, narrowly missed getting shot Monday after a mysterious dispute.
The dispute this time was with the same man that authorities said was involved in a road rage incident with Zimmerman last year. A bullet missed his head, spraying glass from the vehicle’s windshield, said his attorney, Don West. He said the bullet lodged somewhere in the vehicle. He was treated at a hospital and released.
No charges were immediately filed against either man.
Lake Mary Police Officer Bianca Gillett said during a news conference Monday that Matthew Apperson called 911 to report the shooting shortly after Zimmerman flagged down an officer to say someone had shot at him. Both Zimmerman and Apperson have yet to be interviewed formally by investigators, she said.
“We have not determined how or why the incident or altercation began,” Gillett said.
A woman who answered the phone at the disability-benefits business where Apperson works asked a reporter never to call again. Nobody answered the door at his Winter Springs condominium, where there is a “for sale” out front and a lock box on the door.
Last September, Apperson said Zimmerman threatened to kill him, asking “Do you know who I am?” during a confrontation in their vehicles. Apperson decided not to pursue charges, and police officers were unable to move forward without a car tag identified or witnesses.
“I explained to Matthew that without the tag, witnesses, and/or clear video identifying the driver as George Zimmerman, it might be difficult to prove the alleged suspect was in fact Zimmerman,” the Lake Mary police officer wrote in a report last September.
This is just the latest encounter with police since Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in July 2013 in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. While on neighborhood watch in Sanford, Zimmerman shot Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, on February 26, 2012.
Zimmerman was also stopped in July 2013 for speeding in northern Texas, a few weeks after his acquittal. Purportedly, he had a firearm in the vehicle and was let go with a warning.
That November, Zimmerman was detained by police at the home of his then-girlfriend in Apopka in what was described as a domestic dispute.
Arrested for aggravated assault, misdemeanor domestic battery, and criminal mischief, Zimmerman was not prosecuted after the woman dropped the charges.
A man also claimed Zimmerman threatened to kill him during a September 2014 road rage incident in Lake Mary. Zimmerman was not arrested.
This January, Zimmerman was again under arrest on a domestic violence complaint after allegedly throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend. WESH reported that she later recanted without filing charges.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.