Citing the Gainesville police report, the Sentinel said Hernandez punched a bouncer in the head and caused a broken ear drum on April 28, 2007. At the time, Hernandez was a 17-year-old freshman.
The report said a police officer could not find Hernandez at the scene around 1 a.m. and interviewed Tebow and Shaun Young after the incident.
According to the Sentinel, the police report said a waitress at The Swamp bar allegedly brought Hernandez two “alcoholic drinks” that the player drank and refused to pay for, leading to the altercation.
The report said Hernandez told police that bouncer Michael Taphorn got in his face and began yelling at him. As Taphorn turned to walk away, Hernandez punched the bouncer in the side of the head.
Taphorn declined medical treatment but the next day doctors found his right ear drum had burst.
“Tebow stated that he witnessed the dispute,” the officer wrote. “… Tebow stated that he went over to try to help resolve the conflict.”
The Sentinel reported Tebow urged Hernandez to leave peacefully and tried to make arrangements to pay the bill. Later that night, another officer found Hernandez and spoke with him about the incident. Tebow was present during that interview.
The officer wrote Hernandez did not appear to be intoxicated and was, “very polite and professional.”
According to the Sentinel, Hernandez told the officer both he and Tebow had already called then-Gators coach Urban Meyer and informed him about the incident.
A day later, the investigating officer told Hernandez’s attorney he would not be pursuing charges in connection with alcohol served to minors at the restaurant but 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.
Hernandez, now 23, has pleaded not guilty after being charged with first-degree murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. He’s also being investigated in connection with a double homicide in Boston.