Updated Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
While Massachusetts State Police attempt to sort out a homicide investigation after finding a body less than one mile from the North Attleboro, MA, home of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, it appears as if the former Florida Gators star is dealing with another – believed to be separate – legal issue.
According to Sports Illustrated and at least two tabloid outlets, a civil lawsuit was filed against Hernandez on June 13 alleging that he shot an acquaintance in a car during a Feb. 13 outing in Miami, FL. The lawsuit was withdrawn on June 17 for technical reasons but is expected to be refiled on Wednesday unless otherwise resolved.
Only June 13, a Hernandez acquaintance, Alexander S. Bradley, filed a civil complaint against Hernandez in U.S. District Court alleging that a gun — in Hernandez’s possession illegally — discharged and shot Bradley in the face, causing the loss of his right eye. The suit alleges Hernandez and Bradley argued at Tootsie’s strip club in Miami. The gun discharged while Hernandez, Bradley and other associates were returning from Miami to Palm Beach.
SI obtained complaint documents showing Bradley demanding in excess of $100,000. The underlying facts of the complaint include Hernandez and Bradley being in a car with two other persons driving from Miami to Palm Beach when the gun discharged. Bradley is claiming recklessness, carelessness and negligence on the part of Hernandez for illegally possessing and improperly using a firearm.
Furthermore, Bradley claims that he not only lost his right eye but also had facial reconstruction surgery and additional surgeries performed due to damage to his right hand and arm. He is still in physical pain from the incident.
Tabloid website TerezOwens.com obtained a letter addressed to Hernandez from the law firm representing Bradley; it is a request to “resolve this matter amicably” rather than “commence with the appropriate legal proceeding.”
Three South Florida law enforcement agencies told WBZ-TV out of Boston, MA, that they have no record of the alleged incident, which is said to have occurred in February.
SI also notes as part of its report that “a former and current New England teammate” each expressed concerns about some of Hernandez’s past associates, which may have included gang members near his hometown of Bristol, CT. “It was a thug life,” one teammate told SI in regards to some of Hernandez’s associates.
There is not known to be a connection between this legal situation and the homicide investigation ongoing in and around Hernandez’s North Attleboro home.
Update – 5:15 p.m.: A police report has surfaced. Jose Lambiet’s GossipExtra.com reports that Bradley was “uncooperative and rude to” Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies and emergency personnel that attended to him in Riviera Beach, FL, on Feb. 13. The police report notes that a “bullet traveled up Bradley’s arm and into his skull, shattering his eyeball.” Bradley “refused to identify his attacker” at the time.
Update – Thursday at 10:30 a.m.: A lawyer representing Bradley confirmed to multiple members of the media that his client’s lawsuit against Hernandez has been refiled.
Photo Credit: Elise Amendola/Associated Press