The family George Zimmerman saved from a car wreck just days after his not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case is quietly stepping back from the spotlight, horrified to have been accidentally linked with the controversial man so shortly after the trial ended.
A press conferenced scheduled with the family George Zimmerman saved in a car crash last week in Sanford, set to be held in Mark O’Mara’s office, has been canceled — and Zimmerman’s lawyer admits that Mark and Dana Gerstle want nothing to do with his client publicly following the dramatic Thursday rescue.
Since news broke of Zimmerman’s emergence from hiding, many were immediately skeptical that the incident had occurred at all, or that it had occurred how it had been reported. A theory emerged on the web that Zimmerman had Sanford police buddies who tipped him off to a local incident to play hero, and also that the alleged aspiring cop listens to police scanners to hear of such opportunities in the area.
O’Mara was forced to admit the family “[doesn’t] want to be associated with George,” and Mediaite quotes a source as saying:
“Mark and Dana Michelle Gerstle told friends and neighbors that though they’re thankful Mr. Zimmerman helped them, they do not want to talk publicly about him for fear they will be accused of portraying him as a hero… They are very grateful to Zimmerman for what he did, but they do not want to get involved. There is so much hatred directed towards him they have got to think about their own family. There are a lot of crazies out there. If they say anything in support of him it could backfire.”
“I will acknowledge it was coincidental four or five days after the verdict, but it was not set up, or staged… Really, do you think we would’ve set up a family of four on the side (of the road), destroying an SUV?”
He also said that the Gerstles and not Zimmerman’s camp came up with the press conference idea:
“The family called because they wanted to address the media. I knew that if we did it in an organized way, it would help them get back to a normal life.. But they called today and said they were more worried about blow back from saying anything that would be favorable to George, and decided they did not want to do any media.”
The family Zimmerman saved has thus far refused to discuss his role in the rescue, and Zimmerman’s name is not mentioned in police reports.