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Wednesday
Jul032013

Tim Tebow Tried to Stop '07 Bar Fight Involving Aaron Hernandez

Michael DeHoog/Sports Imagery/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- New England Patriots backup quarterback Tim Tebow was a witness to a 2007 bar fight in Florida involving a then-17-year-old Aaron Hernandez and tried unsuccessfully to break up the altercation, according to a Gainesville police report.

The fight broke out at 1 a.m. at the Swamp near the University of Florida campus, where both Tebow and Hernandez played football for the Gators.  Hernandez tried to leave without paying a bill for two alcoholic drinks, according to the report, telling the server that he didn't order them.

That prompted a manager to confront Hernandez, according to the report, and the exchange became heated, prompting Tebow to try to step in.

Tebow told police that he tried "to help resolve the conflict,'' the report states.  He encouraged Hernandez to leave peacefully and offered to pay the bill.  Instead, police stated in the report that Hernandez punched the manager with his right fist and fled the bar.

The weapons listed in the police report were "hands, feet, fists and spitting."

The victim refused medical assistance at the scene.  Police tracked down Hernandez around 3 a.m. that morning.  Hernandez told police that the victim "got in his face" outside the bar and repeated his claim that he did not order the two alcoholic drinks he had consumed, according to one Gainesville police report.

A supplemental Gainesville police report described Hernandez as "polite" and noted he did not appear intoxicated when he was interviewed.

The next day, the victim told police his own doctor said the punch had burst his eardrum and he lost hearing in his right ear, an injury that would take four to six weeks to heal.  Gainesville PD officers then took out a sworn complaint for felony battery.  But Hernandez was never formally charged.

Massachusetts police are interested in Hernandez's alleged bouts of violence in Florida, which include the fight and a shooting that took place after a 2007 football game between the Gators and Auburn University.  Both incidents have drawn renewed interest since his arrest for murder.

Hernandez also faces a civil lawsuit filed last month that claims Hernandez shot someone in the face after leaving Tootsie's strip club in Miami and blew out his eye.

But that victim did not cooperate with police at the time of the shooting.

Hernandez remains in custody at Bristol County jail, where he has been held since June 26, the day he was escorted from his home in handcuffs and charged with first degree murder and weapons violations.  The Patriots dropped him from the team that same day and will offer a free jersey exchange for anyone who wants to trade in their No. 81 Hernandez merchandise for another player's name and number next week.

Hernandez was assigned a new number at the Bristol County jail: prisoner number 174594.

At the former NFL player's arraignment, Bristol County assistant district attorney William McCauley outlined the evidence against Hernandez, including recovered shell casings, video surveillance, text messages, and a piece of chewed Bubbalicious gum recovered from a dumpster at a rental car agency.  McCauley also recounted statements Hernandez allegedly made in the hours before his friend, Odin Lloyd, 27, was killed about how he could no longer trust the victim.

A Bristol County Superior Court Judge ordered Hernandez held without bail.  His next court date is slated for July 24 at Attleboro District Court.  Two other men, Carlos Ortiz, 27, of Bristol, Conn., and Ernest Wallace, 41, who turned himself in to Miramar, Fla., police, are also charged in the case.

Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter said in a statement released last week that he was satisfied that all three men suspected of being in the car that delivered Lloyd to his death were in custody.

Ortiz will have a "dangerousness" hearing on July 9 at Attleboro District Court.  Wallace waived extradition at a hearing in Florida and will face charges in Massachusetts in the coming days, Sutter said.

Lloyd's body was recovered in a sand and gravel pit less than a mile from the $1.3 million home in North Attleboro Hernandez shares with his fiance, Shayanna Jenkins, the mother of his 8-month-old daughter.  He had been shot five times, prosecutors said, including twice while he was already immobile on the ground.

After his arrest, Boston Police searched the Hernandez home in connection with an unsolved triple shooting that left two men dead in July 2012, according to law enforcement sources.

A car linked to Hernandez that investigators believe was used in that shooting was recovered last week in Connecticut, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Boston Police confirmed a search warrant was executed at the Hernandez home but refused comment through a spokeswoman on the ongoing investigation into the July 12, 2012, drive-by that took place after an altercation at Boston nightclub Cure.

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