Pastor George A. Zimmermann (left) and George Zimmerman (right) (Photo Credit: WFTV-TV)
Having the name "George Zimmerman" is difficult these days, especially after the Florida man's acquittal of murder charges. One man, 78-year-old George A. Zimmermann, a retired pastor who had nothing at all to do with the case, is regularly getting threats from confused individuals who are mistaking him for the 29-year-old former defendant.
The preacher, who retired to Deland, Florida, 16 years ago after leaving Georgetown United Methodist Church in Paradise, Pennsylvania, told Charisma News about some of the unpalatable and scary phone calls he has received since Zimmerman (one "n"), first made national news in 2012.
"In the beginning, I received four or five calls," Zimmermann told the outlet. "I’d say, ‘Hey, you got the wrong person. I don’t live in Sanford.’ And then it stopped."
Or so he thought.
Once the trial began, the phone calls came trickling back in. And some of them were pretty terrifying. On the night the verdict was reached, the former preacher said he had a call at 1 a.m. that woke him up and another at 3 a.m. Zimmermann recorded the most threatening message, which WFTV-TV played on the air.
"Hey (expletive) you're the one who killed Trayvon Martin, when your (expletive) get out, you're dead," the message said. "'. Wherever you're trying to hide, you're dead."
The message went on to warn the preacher to watch himself, noting that he isn't free and that he "better get ready to dig a
6-foot hole." The call was so jarring that Zimmermann called police to report it.
The faith leader is hoping that the calls will soon come to an end.