We reported earlier that even the anointed one Tim Tebow couldn’t prevent a bar fight between a 17-year-old Aaron Hernandez and bar manger Michael Taphorn in Gainsville.
According to police reports what we know is that a Hernandez was drinking at The Swamp Restaurant. When he refused to pay for the drinks, Taphorn asked him to leave. Hernandez said that Taphorn got in his face and when he came back into the restaurant Taphorn claimed that Hernandez hit him on the side of his head. Hernandez denied the allegation. Taphorn initially refused medical treatment, but when examined the next day discovered his right ear drum was broken.
Now here’s where the story gets interesting as reported by USA Today.
Curiously, police said Taphorn was adamant about pressing charges when he first spoke to officers, but when police followed up with Taphorn, he told them “that he may request the charges be dropped,” an investigator wrote in the supplemental report. He added: “Taphorn did state that he had been contacted by legal staff and coaches with UF and that they may be working on an agreement. However, nothing is finalized.”
“I advised him that if this was his final decision that he would have to contact the State Attorney’s office,” the investigator wrote.
Athough police recommended a felony assault charge against Hernandez, a juvenile at the time, no charge was lodged.
When USA Today tried to contact a man listed as Michael Taphorn, he said they’d reached the wrong person. When asked for a statement from the University of Florida about a possible payoff the university said:
“We have followed the news surrounding the tragic death of Odin Lloyd. All associated with our program would like to express our condolences to those that loved and cared for him; the pain of their loss is unimaginable,” the statement said. “The possibility that a former University of Florida student may be involved is shocking. We hope for justice for Mr. Lloyd, his family and all involved.”
The perfect side step. Florida has a well paid legal staff and pr staff that got together to issue a statement that completely does NOT answer the question. To me, the university’s response (or lack there of) and the avoidance of Taphorn, makes it very clear to me that Florida more than likely paid him off and I am not one bit surprised.
Could this be a case where coaches, schools, and even the NFL have enabled Hernandez’s actions by not holding him accountable in the past and now that things have spiraled out of control they want to wash their hands of him, and if that is the case, can they really wash that blood off?