A Florida couple rescued from an overturned SUV by George Zimmerman last week have cancelled a planned news conference over concerns about being associated with Trayvon Martin’s killer.
Zimmerman and another man pulled Mark and Dana Gerstle and their two young children out of their blue Ford Explorer unharmed following an accident last Thursday not far from the spot where Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.
Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lawyer, had planned to host the news conference in his office, but was forced to call it off after a last-minute change of heart from the Gerstles. “The family does not want to be associated with George,” O’Mara told reporters.
In a separate statement, the Seminole City Sheriff’s Office said the couple “expressed to us that they are not comfortable doing media interviews at this time and they continue to ask for privacy.” A family friend said the Gerstles were “grateful to Zimmerman for what he did,” but were worried the media would interpret any praise directed at Zimmerman as “making him into a hero.”
“[T]hey called today and said they were more worried about blow back from saying anything that would be favorable to George,” said O’Mara.
O’Mara took advantage of the opportunity to address the conspiracy theory that the entire thing was a stunt to boost Zimmerman’s public image. “I will acknowledge it was coincidental four or five days after the verdict, but it was not set up, or staged,” he said. “Really, do you think we would’ve set up a family of four on the side (of the road), destroying an SUV?”
Zimmerman himself has also remained hidden from public view since he was acquitted of murder, and his exact whereabouts are unknown.
Can you blame them?