The Lookout

George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s killer, had prior brushes with the law

Zachary Roth
The Lookout

View photo

.

George Zimmerman (AP/Orange County Jail via Miami Herald)

A woman accused the man who fatally shot Trayvon Martin of domestic violence, it emerged Wednesday, as a fuller picture of George Zimmerman began to take shape.

In 2005, a woman filed a petition for an injunction against Zimmerman, claiming that he came to her house and became violent when she told him to leave, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Zimmerman, 21 at the time, filed a petition of his own in response.

Just a month before that, the paper reports, Zimmerman was at a bar near the University of Central Florida when a friend was arrested on suspicion of serving minors. Zimmerman became profane and pushed a law enforcement agent who tried to escort him away. He was arrested after a short struggle. That arrest had been reported previously.

In both cases, injunctions have kept the cases' outcomes sealed.

Zimmerman, 28, was born in Virginia, aspired to be a law enforcement officer, and moved with his family to Florida about a decade ago. Though he appears not to have been an official member of the national Neighborhood Watch program, he was zealous -- perhaps over-zealous -- about patrolling his Sanford community, neighbors say.

"He once caught a thief and an arrest was made," Cynthia Wibker, secretary of the homeowners association in the gated community where Zimmerman lives, told the Miami Herald. "He helped solve a lot of crimes."

In 2007, Zimmerman married Shellie Nicole Dean, a licensed cosmetologist. The following year, he was pursued by a credit-card company for unpaid debts, court records show.

His father Robert Zimmerman has said his son is an Hispanic former altar boy, and has black friends and family members. Robert Zimmerman said George Zimmerman didn't pursue Martin, and that his actions weren't race-based.

Meanwhile Wednesday, more than 1,000 people gathered in New York's Union Square, including members of Trayvon Martin's family, to protest the killing of the unarmed 17-year-old, and the failure of authorities to arrest Zimmerman. Calling the event the "Million Hoodie March," a reference to the hooded sweatshirt Martin was wearing at the time he was shot, some protesters wore hoodies and carried Skittles, the candy the Florida teen was carrying.

Dylan Stableford contributed reporting.

More popular Yahoo! News stories:

Sanford city manager: We were barred from arresting Trayvon Martin's killer

Suspected Army shooter's defense may argue Army didn't see warning signs

Federal probe could hang on whether Trayvon Martin was targeted by race

View Comments (5280)