Aaron Hernandez sucker-punched a Gainesville bar employee in 2007, injuring the man seriously enough that police recommended felony charges be brought against the then 17-year-old Florida Gators player.
That's according to a police report acquired by the Wall Street Journal, in which authorities say the underaged Hernandez consumed two "alcoholic drinks" at popular student bar The Swamp before assaulting an employee who demanded he pay up. The punch left bar manager Michael Taphorn with a ruptured eardrum, and police recommended Hernandez be arrested on felony assault charges.
Why, then, wasn't he? That's a great question. The state attorney for Alachua County's district, Bill Cervone, professed ignorance to the Hernandez felony assault recommendation. (Cervone donates between $1,800 and $2,299 a year to the Florida football program.) Later in 2007, Hernandez would be brought in for questioning in regard to a Gainesville nightclub shooting.
Hernandez went on to appear in five games for the Gators that 2007 season, catching two touchdown passes from Tim Tebow.
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