SANFORD, Fla. – Florida authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been charged with aggravated assault and domestic violence with a weapon.
MyFox Tampa Bay said the 31-year-old former neighborhood watchman appeared before a judge Saturday morning. The judge set bond at $5,000 and ordered Zimmerman to surrender his firearms and to have no contact with the victim in the the case.
He was released around 12:30 p.m. after spending several hours in jail, authorities said.
Zimmerman's attorney Don West told the Orlando Sentinel that his client was charged after allegedly throwing a bottle of wine at his girlfriend several days ago.
The Seminole County Sheriff's Office said Zimmerman was arrested in Lake Mary about 10 p.m. Friday and taken to the John E. Polk Correctional Facility.
During the court appearance, Judge John Galluzzo did not give details of the incident, but said it happened at Zimmerman's home in Lake Mary.
The judge ordered Zimmerman to pack up any personal belongings the woman may have left at Zimmerman's home and give them to his lawyer.
Zimmerman appeared in court in blue scrubs and handcuffs. He appeared calm during the hearing. At one point he laughed and joked with an officer as he signed paperwork.
His next court date is Feb. 17.
A message seeking further information was left Saturday morning by The Associated Press with Seminole County Sheriff officials.
Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 of a second-degree murder charge for shooting an unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin.
Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has had several brushes with the law:
-- He was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief after his then-girlfriend said he pointed a gun at her face during an argument, smashed her coffee table and pushed her out of the house they shared. Samantha Scheibe decided not to cooperate with detectives and prosecutors didn't pursue the case.
-- Zimmerman was accused by his estranged wife of smashing an iPad during an argument at the home they had shared. Shellie Zimmerman initially told a dispatcher her husband had a gun, though she later said he was unarmed.
No charges were ever filed because of a lack of evidence. The dispute occurred days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers.
-- Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic violations since his acquittal.
The Sentinel reported that at a gun show in September, Zimmerman told the paper he was homeless and jobless and that legal bills had left him deeply in debt.
The Associated Press contributed to this report