Saturday, June 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Police: Hernandez in 2007 fight that Tebow tried to break up

BOSTON — As former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez sits in a private cell, having been arrested in a man's shooting death last month, a portrait is emerging of a man whose life away from the field included brushes with violence dating to his freshman year at Florida.

That history includes a bar fight which, according to police records, then-Gator teammate Tim Tebow tried to defuse.

A sworn court complaint from Florida's Eighth Judicial Circuit details Hernandez's apparent involvement in a fight April 28, 2007, at a bar in Gainesville. The partly redacted document says Hernandez, then 17, punched a bouncer in the head over nonpayment of a bill.

USA Today reported that Florida might have helped Hernandez reach a settlement with the bouncer, who suffered a burst right ear drum, to keep Hernandez from facing charges.

Tebow, now a member of Patriots and at the time Florida's star quarterback, is listed as a witness on the report.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the police report said a waitress The Swamp bar brought Hernandez two "alcoholic drinks," which he drank but refused to pay for. That was when Hernandez got into a fight with bouncer Michael Taphorn.

Hernandez left, and shortly thereafter when an officer could not find Hernandez, he interviewed Tebow and Shaun Young.

Tebow, then 19, said he saw the dispute and told police he urged Hernandez to leave peacefully and tried to make arrangements to pay the bill. Police then talked to Hernandez later that morning.

Details of a series of altercations and gun incidents linked to Hernandez, 23, have surfaced since he was arrested June 26 in connection with the shooting death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semipro football player who Hernandez knew. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.

Hernandez also is being investigated in connection with a double homicide in Boston. The Boston Globe reported investigators suspect Lloyd might have been targeted because he had information about Hernandez's connection to the double shooting in Boston.

Two men died in the shooting in Boston's South End on July 15, 2012, and another was wounded. Witnesses reported seeing gunfire coming from a gray SUV with Rhode Island plates.

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