Tim Tebow tried to stop Aaron Hernandez from getting into a violent bar fight in 2007 while both were football players at the University of Florida, according to Gainesville police records.
Hernandez, then a 17-year-old freshman, punched a bouncer in the head causing a broken ear drum on April 28, 2007, according to the police report.
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When a police officer could not find Hernandez at the scene of the altercation around 1 a.m., the report states he interviewed Tebow about it.
The report stated the following:
A waitress at The Swamp Restaurant allegedly brought 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.
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.
Taphorn declined medical treatment but the next day doctors discovered his right ear drum had burst and the injury would take four to six weeks to heal.
When the officer could not find Hernandez immediately following the incident, he interviewed Tebow and Shaun Young.
“Tebow stated that he witnessed the dispute,” the officer wrote. “… Tebow stated that he went over to try to help resolve the conflict.”
Tebow went on to say he urged Hernandez to leave peacefully and tried to make arrangements to pay the bill.
Two hours later, another officer found Hernandez and spoke with him about the incident. Tebow was present during the interview.
The officer wrote Hernandez did not appear to be intoxicated and was, “very polite and professional.”
Hernandez told the officer both he and Tebow had already called then-UF football coach Urban Meyer and informed him about the incident.
A day later, the investigating officer told Hernandez’s attorney, Huntley Johnson, he would not be pursuing charges in connection with alcohol served to minors at the restaurant, but he wrote, “it would be noted in the report so the coaches could handle it internally.”
Gainesville police recommended Hernandez be charged with a felony, but it is unclear how the case was resolved because all of Hernandez’s other juvenile records are sealed.
Tebow developed a close bond with Hernandez early in his career with the Gators, hosting Hernandez during his official recruiting visit before Hernandez signed on to play for the Gators.
Hernandez’s criminal history as an adult was limited to primarily traffic citations during his time in Gainesville, but more details have since emerged about his problems following rules in Gainvesille.
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He was questioned in connection with a shooting, although Hernandez was never charged following the incident.
Hernandez also confirmed to reporters that he failed at least one drug test while at Florida, hurting his NFL Draft stock.
“Leading up the draft, I provided every interested NFL team with all the information asked of me about my football and personal life,” Hernandez told reporters in April 2010. “I was as candid as possible about everything, including my one single violation of the team’s substance abuse testing policy over the course of three years at the University of Florida. . . . I regret what happened, learned from it and will make better decisions going forward. I am proud of my career as a Gator and I couldn’t be more excited about entering the NFL and representing the New England Patriots well.”
A UF athletics spokesman told the Sentinel Tuesday it does not dispute Hernandez’s previous public statement he failed a drug test while he was at the school.
Hernandez and Tebow were supposed to reunited this offseason when Tebow joined Hernandez on the Patriots roster.
However, Hernandez, now 23, has been charged with first-degree murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. Michael Fee, Hernandez’s attorney, entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf.
Shortly after Hernandez’s arrest, the Patriots cut all ties with the promising tight end.
Hernandez also is being investigated in connection with a double homicide in Boston. The Boston Globe reported investigators suspect Lloyd may have been targeted because he had information about Hernandez’s connection to the double shooting in Boston.