George Zimmerman was arrested on Friday, January 9th and charged with aggravated assault and domestic violence with a weapon after an argument.
Today, the name of the victim and his relation to Zimmerman were released to the public. The victim, identified as Zimmerman’s 22-year-old live-in boyfriend, Hector Valenzeula, suffered severe facial injuries and is in stable condition at St. Lucia & Mary’s Hospital.
Police received a call after a concerned neighbor heard the two men arguing very loudly and repeated loud crashing noises. Upon arrival, police officers reportedly found Zimmerman on top of the victim, striking him repeatedly with a miniature Louisville Slugger baseball bat, which was covered in Valenzeula’s blood.
The 31-year-old Zimmerman became a nationally known controversial figure in 2012, after he saw Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American boy wearing a hooded sweatshirt in his Sanford, Florida, neighborhood. Zimmerman confronted Martin and wound up shooting and killing the unarmed teen. After an extremely high-profile case, which was racially delicate, Zimmerman was found not guilty.
According to Lake Mary Police Department spokesperson Rochelle McCaffrey, Valenzeula and Zimmerman had been fighting after Valenzeula allegedly walked in on Zimmerman and two other men taking part in activities of a sexual nature. The two men, unnamed in the case, immediately fled the residence, leaving Valenzeula and Zimmerman alone. Shortly after, the alleged assault took place.
“He isn’t a boyfriend, though,” said Zimmerman in an interview with police detectives. “It’s true he stays at the house, but he’s more of a live-in, uh, gardener. Yeah, that’s it. He’s a live-in gardener! And uh, a cook! Absolutely no sexual things happen between myself and Mr. Valenzeula. He merely trims my hedges and tosses my salads. That’s all.”
Zimmerman is currently being held on $20,000 bond at John E. Polk Correctional Facility ran by the Seminole County Sheriffs Department.