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George Zimmerman rescue of family in overturned SUV "just makes sense," says attorney Mark O'Mara

George Zimmerman, left, stands in the courtroom with defense counsel Mark O'Mara during closing arguments in his trial at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, in Sanford, Fla., Friday, July 12, 2013. Zimmerman is charged in the 2012 shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool) Joe Burbank

George Zimmerman, left, stands in the courtroom with defense counsel Mark O'Mara during closing arguments in his trial at the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center, in Sanford, Fla., Friday, July 12, 2013.
AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool
(CBS/AP) SANFORD, Fla. - George Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, says "it makes perfect sense" to him that his client helped rescue a family of four from an overturned SUV just four days after being found not guilty of murder in the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

PICTURES: George Zimmerman on trial in death of Fla. teen

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READ: Trayvon Martin Shooting: A timeline of events

"That's just what he does, so the idea that he would stop and offer aid to somebody in need in a car just makes sense," said O'Mara, according to CBS affiliate WKMG. That's who he always has been, and though he's been vilified for what he did on that night, this is still who he is."

O'Mara said Zimmerman was in a vehicle with a friend when they came upon the crash scene.

In a statement obtained Monday by CBS News' Crimesider, Seminole County Sheriff's spokeswoman Kim Cannaday said George Zimmerman and another man helped assist a family in getting out of an overturned vehicle on July 17.

"I think any one of us, if we came on a scene like that, would look at it and say they may need help. That's George's way. He gave the help he thought may be needed," said O'Mara.

The sheriff's office statement says there were four occupants inside the overturned vehicle - two parents and two children. WKMG reports the parents have been identified as Mark and Dana Gerstle. Property records reportedly show the Gerstles live in Port Orange, Fla.

O'Mara says the Gerstle family immediately recognized Zimmerman, as did another person who stopped to help.

According to the station, at least eight people called 911 to report the car crash, but no one made any mention of Zimmerman in the calls.

The sheriff's office statement says Zimmerman spoke with a deputy at the scene and then left. Zimmerman did not see the crash happen. There were no injuries reported in the crash.

Zimmerman had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. His acquittal has prompted rallies nationwide calling for a civil rights probe, and the case has sparked debate about race and self-defense laws.

  • Crimesider Staff

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