Tim Tebow tried to break up Aaron Hernandez bar fight in 2007, police say


Tim Tebow worked out with the Patriots (including No. 81, Aaron Hernandez) last month. (Charles Krupa / AP)

When Aaron Hernandez allegedly got into a bar fight as a 17-year-old in Gainesville, Fla., one of his University of Florida teammates stepped into to try to break it up, according to police records.

That teammate? Tim Tebow. The Gators’ quarterback, who was 19 at the time of the April 2007 fight, tried unsuccessfully to prevent an altercation that resulted in Hernandez allegedly punching a bouncer in the head and rupturing his ear drum.

The Orlando Sentinel has details, from a Gainesville police report:

A waitress at The Swamp bar 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.

Tebow and Hernandez after a 2011 game. (Rick Wilking / Reuters)
Tebow and Hernandez after a 2011 game. (Rick Wilking / Reuters)

Although police reportedly recommended that Hernandez be charged with a felony, it is not known how the case was resolved because Hernandez’s juvenile records are sealed.

Tebow and Hernandez were teammates for three years at Florida and were together again briefly when Tebow signed with the Patriots on June 10. Hernandez faces murder and gun charges in connection with the shooting death of Odin Lloyd on June 17. His attorney entered a not-guilty plea on June 26 and he is being held without bail in Bristol County (Mass.) jail.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

More on the Aaron Hernandez case

Hernandez has no gang tattoos; report of 2007 incident surfaces

Hernandez is denied bail

Ex-Patriots tight end is under investigation for 2012 murders

Hernandez jerseys are selling well on eBay

A reported 2007 incident details trouble at Florida

Sally Jenkins: Arrest unfairly stigmatizes NFL players

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · July 2, 2013

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