“He recognized me,” Zimmerman told the dispatcher when asked how the altercation began. “He told me he was going to kill me he told me he’d (expletive) shoot me and he punched me in the face.”
But Zimmerman’s version of events is just one of three contradictory accounts of what happened that night.
Zimmerman claims the dispute began after he approached a man sitting at another table and complimented the man’s Confederate flag tattoos, The Orlando Sentinel reports. According to Zimmerman’s version of events, the man thanked him and asked “Aren’t you that guy,” to which Zimmerman says he said yes and showed his ID. Zimmerman says another man, who walked up to the table and accused him of bragging, told him, “You better get the [expletive] out of here,” and later punched him in the face.
Witnesses sitting at the table tell a different story. According the tattooed man’s wife, Zimmerman walked up to the table and said, “Hey, I like your racist tattoos.”
A man who was sitting at the table says Zimmerman then identified himself as Trayvon Martin’s killer, pulling out his ID card to prove it. The man told police he took issue with Zimmerman’s “bragging” and asked him to leave.
Restaurant owner Ed Winters offers yet another account of what happened. He says Zimmerman approached the tattooed man to insult the tattoo, prompting one of his friends to get rough with Zimmerman. According to Winters, the men argued and shoved each other, but no punches were thrown.
In fact, only Zimmerman and one of his friends apparently report seeing Zimmerman punched in the face. Both of them placed separate 911 calls, prompting the police response. On the phone in a recorded call, Zimmerman also said he “didn’t know where” he was bleeding from, but tasted blood.
To confound things even more, Zimmerman now claims that the man who punched him was likely intoxicated and confused, telling the Sentinel the man accused him of being a “nigger lover,” and may have mistaken him for Matthew Apperson, a Florida resident accused of shooting at Zimmerman in a road rage incident last year.
No other accounts of the incident appear to include these details.