FOX Sports Exclusive
Boston focused on Hernandez drama
NORTH ATTLEBORO, MASS.
The white Audi SUV driven by New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez pulled down the sloped driveway and headed out of his house in a luxury subdivision here Thursday morning.
TV helicopters followed, 19 years (and three days) after the country was entranced by video of another white SUV. Granted, at least nationwide, the investigation surrounding the death of a 27-year-old semi-pro football player and Hernandez’s possible connection to the homicide isn't O.J. Simpson and the infamous running back’s slow-speed chase.
Locally, however, this Hernandez story is king. The Boston Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Final. Celtics coach Doc Rivers and forward Kevin Garnett could be Los Angeles Clippers any day now. Mobster James "Whitey" Bulger is on trial in a Boston federal courtroom.
All are secondary to law enforcement’s continued investigation of Hernandez. More information about the case trickled out Thursday, although no arrest warrants had been issued.
Residents of North Attleboro have told investigators they heard gunshots between 3 and 3:30 a.m. Monday, FOX 25 reported Thursday night (the gunshots were not immediately reported to authorities). FOX 25 also reported that authorities have “video evidence of Hernandez and two other men wearing hooded sweatshirts walking into Hernandez's home within minutes of neighbors hearing gunshots.”
It was confirmed by FOX 25 that the hard drive from Hernandez's home video surveillance system was heavily damaged, a piece of information initially reported by ABCNews.com.
“Man, he just had that installed a couple months ago,” a neighbor said to FOX Sports about the security system.
ABCNews.com also reported Hernandez had house cleaners over on Monday and that his lawyers handed over a cell phone of Hernandez’s to authorities that was “in pieces.”
SI.com reported that Hernandez’s arrest was forthcoming, although it wasn’t clear for what specific charge.
The body of Odin Lloyd was found at a nearby industrial park by a jogger on Monday, and investigators again returned to that site Thursday. The only law-enforcement presence near Hernandez’s home on Thursday was an occasional pass through by a cruiser.
Hernandez reportedly was questioned by police Monday in connection with Lloyd's death, but this isn’t his only legal concern.
He is also the target of a lawsuit — which was re-filed Wednesday night — stemming from an alleged shooting incident in Miami in February. In the federal suit obtained by FOX Sports, Alexander S. Bradley claims that Hernandez was in possession of a gun that discharged inside a car after an argument. The alleged incident took place after Bradley, Hernandez and two other people left a Miami strip club.
Bradley lost his right eye (among other injuries) and is requiring multiple surgeries, according to the lawsuit. He is seeking at least $100,000 (the threshold required for a civil case to be heard in federal court), although one of his lawyers told FOX Sports that Bradley’s medical bills are already in excess of $200,000.
“We plan to give the summons today or tomorrow to his lawyers,” David Jaroslawicz, Bradley’s lawyer, told FOX Sports on Thursday. “If we have to hand it to Hernandez, we may need police escorts.”
A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department report obtained by FOX Sports stated Bradley was “rude and uncooperative” when interviewed after the incident.
“He asked the investigation not go any further,” Det. Kenny Smith wrote. “I explained without his cooperation, the investigation would cease. He understood.”
As of Thursday, the case remained dormant.
“He would have to ask for it to be reopened,” department spokesperson Therese Barbera told FOX Sports.
Jaroslawicz said his client would be fine if authorities pursued a criminal case against Hernandez, although Barbera said detectives have had no contact with Bradley.
Meanwhile, back on this suburban tract of million-dollar homes, all was quiet, at least minus the massive media presence.
Eleven-year-old triplets plied reporters with free iced tea. An ice-cream truck swung by a few times. Landscapers attempted to maneuver through the narrow street lined on one side by news trucks and vans.
It’ll be calm, at least until Hernandez returns.