Abdulrahman Zeitoun, the protagonist of Dave Eggers’s 2009 nonfiction bestseller Zeitoun, appeared in a New Orleans district court yesterday following his second arrest on charges of assaulting his now ex-wife in the past year.
The most recent arrest occurred on July 25, when Mr. Zeitoun allegedly struck Kathy Zeitoun with his fists and a tire iron and attempted to choke her outside of a lawyer’s office in Uptown New Orleans. At the time he was on probation for attacking Ms. Zeitoun in front of their children in March 2011, a charge to which he pleaded guilty last summer and was subsequently sentences to anger-management classes.
Magistrate Judge Gerard Hansen decided yesterday not to revoke Mr. Zeitoun’s probation in light of the new arrest. Mr. Zeitoun is currently being held on $150,000 bail. After the hearing, Ms. Zeitoun showed reporters photographs of bruises and scrapes, claiming that her ex-husband “tried to kill her,” and asserting that she believes he should be held without bail.
“I’m not going to be quiet about it anymore because being quiet puts him in a position to do it again,” Ms. Zeitoun told Greater New Orleans of her ex-husband’s violence. The couple was divorced earlier this year.
Mr. Eggers’s book chronicles Mr. Zeitoun’s wrongful arrest following Hurricane Katrina, when he was allegedly mistaken for a terrorist and detained at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center for over 20 days without ever standing trial.
We have reached out to McSweeney’s, the publisher of Zeitoun, for comment and as of writing this have not heard back.