George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder this month in the shooting death of Miami Gardens teen Trayvon Martin, had a new run-in with Seminole County authorities: as a good Samaritan.
Zimmerman helped pull a family of four out of a Ford Explorer that had rolled over in Sanford last Wednesday, according to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. None of the SUV’s occupants, two parents and two children, was injured.
The responding deputy “reported that when he arrived, two men — one of whom was George Zimmerman — had already helped assist the family by getting them out of the overturned vehicle,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement Monday. “Zimmerman was not a witness to the crash and left after making contact with the deputy.”
The single-car accident happened during afternoon rush hour near Interstate 4 and State Road 46, less than a mile from the gated Retreat at Twin Lakes community where Zimmerman fatally shot Trayvon, 17, on Feb. 26, 2012.
A six-member Seminole County jury found Zimmerman not guilty on July 13 of second-degree murder or manslaughter after hearing three weeks of testimony and deliberating for about 16 hours. Zimmerman, 29, a former neighborhood watch leader, claimed self defense, saying he was forced to shoot after the unarmed teen ambushed him in the dark and bashed his head onto a sidewalk.
Since Zimmerman’s acquittal, demonstrators have held rallies and protests in Miami, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and dozens of other U.S. cities, and tens of thousands have signed petitions, urging the U.S. Justice Department to file a civil-rights case against Zimmerman.
It’s unclear what Zimmerman’s future will hold, but last week’s accident was his first public appearance since he walked out of Seminole County courthouse a free man.