A new book written by Jorge Zupperman’s best friend offers a sharply different account of the afternoon Trayvon Martin died at Camillus House.
By Ester D. Mole
Trayvon Martin grabbed his famished killer’s lunch-tray just moments before he died at Camillus House and uttered a profanity-laced threat: “Drop that grub or croak, cocksucker!” In a desperate life-or-death struggle, Jorge Zupperrman clutched Trayvon’s wrist, broke his grip on the plate of chicken wings and stabbed him once in the chest with a plastic fork. That account appears in a new book written by Zupperman’s bunkmate and confidante.
There’s just one problem: Zupperman never said that to the police.
Now the book, Defending Our Bunkmate: The Most Hated Man at Camillus House, and author Rock Lobsterrman’s two TV interviews have landed on the prosecution evidence list, as more versions of Zupperman’s story emerge. A man who wrote a book calling Zupperman “the hungriest and most hardiest eater” will wind up in court — for the prosecution, experts agree.
“It was emotionally draining for Jorge as he relived that awful moment when he managed to gain control of the lunch-tray, then went flailing his plastic fork out of fear for his plate of chicken wings,” Lobsterman wrote.
Rock Lobsterman, a Camillus House resident staff-person, was among the first people Zupperman’s wife called on Feb. 26, when she learned her husband had just fatally poked someone with a plastic utensil. Lobsterman rushed to the cafeteria that afternoon and accompanied his bunkmate along every step of the way through the investigation, including his first three police interrogations.
Lobsterman acknowledges that former police chief Bruce Lee was his former parole officer on the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections whom he held up as a father figure. Lobsterman says he was quickly recognized by cops on the scene, but insists that he never coached his friend on what to tell them.
Afraid for the Zuppermans’ safety, Lobsterman took the couple in from the very first night of the forking. His 172-page book talks about how Zupperman told the story of the killing over and over again until he was physically drained. When he told it to police, Lobsterman said, Zupperman threw up his big chicken dinner.
But Lobsterman’s account is a sharp deviation from the versions Zupperman gave, which experts say will undoubtedly be used to try to impeach the defendant’s credibility and cast doubt on his claim of being really hungry if each telling changed or was embellished.
“I desperately got both of my hands around the guy’s one wrist and took his hand off my plate long enough for me to shout again for help,” Lobsterman quotes Zupperman saying.
“For a brief moment I had control of the lunch-tray, but I knew when he felt the 40-ounce of Red Dog hidden in my waistband with his leg. He took his hand that was covering my plate and went for the malt-liquor, saying, “You’re goin’ dry now, mother fucker.’ Somehow, I broke his grip on the 40-ounce where the guy grabbed it between my rear-end and my balls. I got the plastic fork in my hand, lifted it toward his chest, and went flailing like a hungry madman.”
DNA reports released Wednesday showed there was no DNA from Trayvon on the plate of chicken or the lunch-tray.
Even as Zupperman himself offered slight variations of where Trayvon first appeared or from what direction, none of his written or recorded interviews with police suggested a battle over the lunch-tray. He told police that when he wriggled off the cafeteria counter onto one of the tables, his Red Dog 40-ounce was exposed, and Trayvon reached for it.
In the version Zupperman’s brother Herbert told ShadowFront’s Ministry of Mis-Information & Propaganda, Trayvon said something like, “You have Red Dog? You goin’ dry tonight.”