George Zimmerman's heroic act 'not staged,' says attorney
(CNN) — A family helped out of an overturned vehicle by George Zimmerman canceled a news conference Wednesday because of safety concerns, according to Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara, who also insisted the incident wasn't staged.
"They were very worried and I think were advised by some family and friends that they really should not get involved with anything having to do with George Zimmerman," O'Mara told reporters gathered outside his office in Orlando, Florida. "That's really sad that they can't even say that George did something good for them because people out there believe that he's still so toxic even though he's been acquitted."
The incident, which occurred on July 17, involved two parents and two children in a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had traveled off the road and rolled over at around 5:45 p.m. ET, according to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. Zimmerman was not a witness to the accident, but worked with another man to remove the family from the vehicle. Nobody reported any injuries and Zimmerman left after making contact with a deputy.
O'Mara addressed speculation that the incident may have been a hoax.
"Those who want to believe it was staged, they can go right ahead and believe that," O'Mara said. "They can believe the Earth is still flat or that the Earth is still the center of the universe. It just happens not to be true ... I will acknowledge that it was awfully coincidental, four or five days after the verdict, but it was not set up or staged."
O'Mara gave some additional details about Zimmerman's role in helping the family after the crash.
"They came up to the car, which was teetering a bit," O'Mara said. "So they were securing the car, making sure it didn't move and were also helping them get out of the car -- getting the door open, or window open, and getting them out."
The attorney also said that the family had only one request now: That they be left in peace.
"Those people want their privacy and they deserve it. They are not a part of this case, were never a part of this case. It happened to be an incidental event that George helped them out in ... leave them be," O'Mara said.
Zimmerman hasn't made any public appearances since being declared a free man on July 13 by a jury of all women. He had been charged with second-degree murder for killing an unarmed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. The 17-year-old was walking through Zimmerman's neighborhood that night when Zimmerman saw him and told police that he looked suspicious. The two got into an altercation, and Zimmerman said he was forced to draw his gun and shoot Martin in self-defense.
O'Mara said that this latest incident just shows that Zimmerman is still the same man he was before he fatally shot Martin.
"George did what I think most people would do -- he got out and helped people in need. That's who he's always been."