Aaron Hernandez was in trouble with police in Gainesville even before he ever played a down for the Florida Gators.
That's the findings in a story by the Wall Street Journal, which uncovered a Gainesville police report from May 4, 2007, that shows Hernandez got into a scuffle at a local bar and punched a bouncer in the head, causing a burst eardrum.
According to the Journal, a waitress at The Swamp bar allegedly brought the then-17-year-old Hernandez two "alcoholic drinks," which he consumed but refused to pay for. That's when Hernandez got into a fight with a bouncer at the bar.
The Journal story stated: "After stepping outside, according to the report, Hernandez told police [bouncer Michael] Taphorn 'got in his face' and began yelling at him. As Taphorn turned to walk away, Hernandez punched him in the side of the head — a fact Hernandez did not dispute.
"Taphorn complained of hearing loss in his ear but refused medical treatment on the scene, the report said. The next day, however, doctors discovered his right eardrum had burst, an injury he was told would take four to six weeks to heal, according to the police report."
A Gainesville police spokesman told the Journal that Hernandez was not arrested for the incident, but "given the severity of the injury to the victim, the department recommended a charge of felony battery — a crime that, for adults in Florida, carries a maximum of up to five years in prison."
The Journal noted it was unclear how the case was resolved. Because Hernandez was a juvenile at the the time, police and other officials contacted by the Journal wouldn't comment about the case.
Hernandez was charged last week in a Massachusetts court with one count of murder and five weapons violations in the shooting death of a 27-year-old man Odin Lloyd.
Michael Fee, a lawyer for Hernandez, entered a plea of not guilty.