Tim Tebow couldn't stop Aaron Hernandez bar fight in 2007

2:38 PM, Jul 2, 2013   |    comments
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Aaron Hernandez

(USA TODAY) -- Tim Tebow attempted to keep Aaron Hernandez out of trouble during a 2007 bar squabble while both were playing at the University of Florida, but not even the mild-mannered, Bible-toting quarterback could keep Hernandez from slugging a Gainesville, Florida, bouncer and puncturing his ear drum.

Hernandez, a 17-year-old freshman at the time, got in an argument over an unpaid tab for two drinks, according to the incident report obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

The report said a waitress at The Swamp Restaurant brought Hernandez the drinks, which he consumed before refusing to pay the bill. Bouncer Michael Taphorn confronted Hernandez, then asked him to leave. Outside the bar, Hernandez told police, Taphorn got into his face. When Taphorn turned to re-enter the restaurant, police said Hernandez hit him on the side of the head.

According to the report, Hernandez did not deny throwing the punch.

The original incident report lists Tebow only as "Witness 1," but his identity has been verified to USA TODAY Sports by Gainesville Police Department spokesman Ben Tobias.

Taphorn declined immediate medical treatment, but when he was examined the next day by doctors, they discovered that his right ear drum had been broken, an injury that would take four to six weeks to heal, the report said.

The incident took place around 8 p.m. ET, and Hernandez left the area immediately after the altercation. When a responding officer could not locate him, the officer interviewed Tebow, who said he tried to resolve the problem. Tebow said he urged Hernandez to leave peacefully and tried to make arrangements to pay the bill, Tobias said.

When reached by USA TODAY Sports by phone, a man who said he was Michael Taphorn said, "I think you have the wrong person," but a database has a phone number for him that matches a contact number on the police report. That number is no longer his, but the same report did have his current phone number. Taphorn denied working at the restaurant.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that two hours after the incident, another officer located Hernandez and talked with him about the incident while Tebow was present. The officer wrote that Hernandez was sober and "very polite and professional," according to the Sentinel. Also reported: Hernandez told the officer he and Tebow had already called then-Florida football coach Urban Meyer and informed him about the incident.

Charges were never filed against Hernandez, then a juvenile who had not yet played a down for the Gators.

Hernandez, now 23, has been charged with the murder of 27-year-old semipro football player Odin Lloyd. Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty, is being held without bail in a Massachusetts jail. The Boston Globe has reported that Hernandez also is being investigated in connection with a July 2012 double homicide in Boston.

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