Arrest report details mental health of man who shot at George Zimmerman

Police: Matthew Apperson had been admitted to a mental institution

By Erik von Ancken - Anchor/Reporter

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Lake Mary police have released the arrest report for the man accused of firing a gun into George Zimmerman's truck, detailing the "fixation" police say the man has with Zimmerman.

Matthew Apperson turned himself in to authorities Friday and was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and firing a deadly missile into an occupied conveyance, an arrest report said.

Apperson posted bail and was released Saturday, according to the Seminole County Jail.

In Apperson's arrest report, which Local 6 obtained from the Seminole County Clerk of Courts, a Lake Mary police officer wrote, "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."

A Lake Mary Police spokesperson said the information came from family and friends but was not independently verified.

Apperson did not answer the door at his Winter Springs home Monday afternoon when Local 6 knocked seeking comment.

Mark Nejame, Apperson's former attorney, said he's referring Apperson's case to a colleague within his office and that he did not believe Apperson's mental health history should be publicly released.

Don West, George Zimmerman's attorney, said the information will help give Zimmerman more credibility with the general public.

"There wasn't much explanation of Mr. Apperson's conduct that made sense, the way that Mr. Zimmerman described it," said West. "If he does have some mental issues I think that might very well go a long way in explaining what was otherwise very bizarre yet very violent behavior."

Apperson had his first appearance on Saturday and was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery and firing a missile into a vehicle. His bond was set at $35,000. He must turn in all weapons to Seminole County Sheriff's office, and have no contact with Zimmerman.

Judge Rudsill said that there is no GPS monitoring required because George Zimmerman does not want anyone to know his whereabouts.

"I don't care if you have been shopping at Publix for two hours, and have a full cart of groceries or whatever, if you see Mr Zimmerman walking through the door, you are the one who has to leave," Rudsill said.

Apperson bonded out of the Seminole County Jail in Sanford around 2:35 p.m on Saturday. He had no comment.

His arraignment will be June 23 with Judge Debra Nelson, the same judge that presided over the Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin  trial. 

A Lake Mary police spokesperson said it's now up to the state attorney's office to file charges after a thorough investigation that will likely include verifying Apperson's mental health history.

When Local 6 asked police why Apperson was allowed to have a loaded gun in his car if he was admitted to a mental health facility, Lake Mary Police spokesperson Bianca Gillett said,if law enforcement wasn't involved in getting Apperson to the mental health facility, law enforcement wouldn't have known he'd been there. Gillett said the facility cannot report the visit because of patient confidentiality rules.

Zimmerman wasn't hit by the bullet, but he was hit by glass and shrapnel. He was checked out at a hospital, but is expected to be OK.

Apperson's mother and his wife both emerged from the Lake Mary Police Department Friday after answering investigators' questions about the shooting.

Apperson said he shot at Zimmerman's SUV out of a fear for his life after Zimmerman waved a gun at him.

Zimmerman denies the claims, and he wants to press charges against Apperson.

Apperson's mother, Janet White, wouldn't tell Local 6 what investigators asked her about.

Her attorney, Lyle Mazin, told Local 6 she is very frightened.

"Her feeling is the feeling of any other mother that would be in the situation," Mazin said. "She's petrified. No one wants their son to be in a situation like this."

About an hour after his mother left the police department, Local 6 watched as Apperson's wife, Liza, left with her attorney.

Her attorney, Whitney Boan, said they worked to show Apperson was a nice man.

"This has given them an opportunity to see that he's a nice man," she said. "He's got a family and a wife who support him. And that's what I feel we've accomplished today."

Apperson's attorney at the time of his arrest, Mark NeJame, told Local 6 he's still not sure Apperson will make a statement in the investigation, even though Zimmerman made one on Wednesday.

His wife's attorney said she hopes everything will stop right here.

"Obviously, this is a really tense situation for everybody, but the family is cooperating, and we're hoping that justice will be served in terms of -- that he will not be charged. That's our hope," she said.

Apperson's lawyer released a statement Friday evening, reading in part:

"We expected this as Mr. Apperson, under the advice of counsel and exercising his Constitutional right did not provide additional statements to law enforcement. He had already made statements and this is deemed sufficient, as of now. Mr. Zimmerman apparently did make statements and as such, it appears a decision was made to arrest on the basis of Mr. Zimmerman's statements. That is neither unusual nor was it unexpected.

"The case will proceed through the criminal justice system appropriately and ultimately a determination will be made as what truly happened. Mr. Apperson will continue not to comment until such time as it may be deemed appropriate."

Watch Local 6 News and stay with ClickOrlando.com for updates on this developing story.

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