The family rescued last week by exonerated neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman after a car accident has been identified, but a family friend says they are keeping quiet because they are afraid for their lives. Still, that could all change Wednesday.
The Daily Mail tracked down Mark and Dana Michelle Gerstle at their home, but says they are refusing to talk because they don’t want to be accused of painting Zimmerman as a hero and face those who are furious with the jury’s verdict.
“They are very grateful to Zimmerman for what he did, but they do not want to get involved,” a family friend told the Daily Mail.
“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.”
“Let’s face it, George Zimmerman is pretty toxic right now,” another friend added.
“Mark has two young children and has got to live his life round here. Why would he want to mark himself out?
“Whatever he says could be taken out of context. If he praises Zimmerman then people will say he is making him into a hero. It is easier if he says nothing.”
The family, which includes two kids, was involved in a single-vehicle accident last Wednesday. Police say Zimmerman helped them out of their overturned car and no injuries were reported.
But in a twist, the Orlando Sentinel now says the family will break its silence Wednesday afternoon at the law offices of Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara.
Mark Gerstle is said to be a 52-year-old pharmacist and knew instantly who had pulled him out after accident, identifying Zimmerman to firefighters.
You can see more pictures of the family over at the Daily Mail.
WOFL-TV reports the family has inexplicably cancelled its scheduled news conference.