The family that George Zimmerman was credited with rescuing is the Gerstles, a Disney-loving clan from Port Orange, Fla.
Zimmerman reportedly rescued the family of four from their overturned SUV on a Florida highway last week, although the information was first disclosed to ABC News on Monday. The revelation marked the first public sighting of Zimmerman, 29, since he was acquitted earlier this month on murder and manslaughter charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, 17.
The family’s patriarch, 52-year-old Mark Gerstle, lost control of his vehicle around 5:47 p.m. Wednesday on the off ramp of Florida Highway 416 near Orlando, causing the SUV to go off the road and roll over, according to a police report from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. According to the incident report, the brakes and tires on the vehicle weren’t worn and did not contribute to the accident.
Zimmerman was identified as the man who helped rescue the Gerstles from the vehicle.
Sanford Police Department Capt. Jim McAuliffe told ABC News that Zimmerman “pulled an individual from a truck that had rolled over.”
Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., said it was part of his brother’s character to lend a helping hand.
“George saw a need, he acted,” Zimmerman Jr. tweeted Monday, explaining why his brother didn’t want to make the rescue public. “Our parents taught us to help, never to boast. Humility is George’s finest trait.”
Later reports surfaced that identified the victims as the Gerstles. Also in the car with Mark were wife Dana, 42, and their children Sadie Lynn and Matthew.
According to Dana Gerstle’s Facebook page, the Port Orange family loves nearby Disney World. The family participated in the park’s 2011 edition of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party, where the clan dressed up as NASA astronauts in space suits:
The Gerstles also posed for a photo during a ride with the Magic Kingdom in the background:
Zimmerman’s acquittal sparked nationwide protests among those who disagreed with the verdict. A jury of six women found the 29-year-old neighborhood watchman not guilty of murder and manslaughter. Zimmerman argued that he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Trayvon during a struggle back in February 2012.
Howard Koplowitz reports on crime and breaking news events for International Business Times. Howard formerly worked on IBT's continuous news desk, where he covered trending...