UPDATE (5/18/15, 19:43EST): This post has been updated with additional information about Apperson’s mental health (or lack thereof) as reported today by WKMG Orlando television.

This WKMG report is based upon their obtaining a copy of the police report of officers who spoke with Apperson immediately after he tried to shoot George Zimmerman in the head.  The police report specifically notes:

During the investigation, I learned that Apperson has exhibited unusual behavior in which he had recently been admitted to a mental institution. It appears that Apperson has a fixation on Zimmerman and has displayed some signs of paranoia, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

(emphasis added)

Here’s a video of the WKMG on-air report earlier today:


A report by WESH Orlando and other news sources states that Matthew Apperson, the man arrested last Friday for firing a .357 Magnum bullet at George Zimmerman’s head a week ago, was bonded out of jail over the weekend.  Bond was reportedly set at $35,000.

Apperson was formally charged this past Saturday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and firing a deadly missile into an occupied conveyance, police said.  He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on June 23.

As conditions of bail Apperson was ordered to turn in his firearms to police, which he reportedly did on Sunday, and to stay away from George Zimmerman.

Contributing to Apperson’s arrest were police observations of his “unusual behavior” and apparent “fixation” with Zimmerman immediately following the shooting.  The police report also notes Apperson as saying “I hope I got him [Zimmerman] this time.”

We’ve previously noted Apperson’s rather extensive history with the criminal justice system, here:  George Zimmerman Shooter’s Checkered Past.  The WESH report provides some additional details:

Apperson has been arrested and convicted at least four times in the past, according to police records.  In 2005 a woman accused Apperson of punching her window in a road rage incident, police said. That woman decided not to press charges.  Winter Springs police said they have been called to Apperson’s home at least 15 times since July 2012.

Zimmerman has also had repeated interactions with law enforcement following his 2013 acquittal for his self-defense shooting of Trayon Martin. Typically these interactions were based on accusations made by angry girlfriends.

Unlike in the case of Apperson, where incomplete criminal proceedings were typically halted because the victims chose not to bring charges, Zimmerman’s girlfriend accusers have consistently recanted their accusations shortly after making them.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.