The family rescued by George Zimmerman last week after a rollover crash in Sanford, Fla., are terrified of any media attention they may attract and the hate mobs that could target them.
Mark and Dana Michelle Gerstle told friends and neighbors that though they’re thankful Mr. Zimmerman helped them, they do not want to talk publicly about him for fear they will be accused of portraying him as a hero, the Daily Mail first reported.
“They are very grateful to Zimmerman for what he did, but they do not want to get involved,” said a friend, who asked not to be named. “There is so much hatred directed towards him they have got to think about their own family. There are a lot of crazies out there. If they say anything in support of him it could backfire.”
Mr. Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the Gerstles’ aid and their two children, aged 4 and 8, trapped inside a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had rolled over after traveling off the highway in Sanford Thursday evening, less than a mile from where the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin occurred.
Mr. Gerstle, a 52-year-old pharmacist, instantly recognized Mr. Zimmerman when he pulled him from the driver’s seat of his overturned vehicle, telling firefighters, “George Zimmerman pulled me out,” The Mail reported.
He screamed at reporters Tuesday, who were trying to snap photos of him in his garage.
“Go away. I’ve got nothing to say,” he said, appearing enraged that media wanted to talk to him, The Mail reported.
A neighbor in Port Orange told The Mail: “[He] will be very embarrassed by all the attention he will get. He is a very quiet man and will not like having his name mentioned all over the press. I am sure he is very grateful to Zimmerman but he is not the type you will see on a chat show talking about what happened.”