The lawyer for the Connecticut man suing Aaron Hernandez now believes Hernandez intended to kill his client after a night of partying in Miami.
Alexander Bradley, 30, filed a civil complaint in a U.S. District Court in South Florida in which he accused Hernandez of shooting him in the face on Feb. 13. Bradley was found alone and bleeding from the face and arm in a Riviera Beach, Fla. industrial park, about an hour north of the strip club where he had spent the previous evening with Hernandez and others.
“I think he was left there because they thought he would be dead,” attorney David Jaroslawicz told USA TODAY Sports on Friday.
Jaroslawicz initially filed the complaint on Bradley’s behalf on June 13, four days before the body of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd was discovered in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Mass. Police arrested Hernandez on Wednesday on a charge of first-degree murder in that case, he pleaded not guilty, and he is being held without bond while awaiting formal indictment.
Police in Boston are now investigating whether Hernandez was involved in a double-homicide in July 2012, the Boston Globe has reported.
“You can’t make this stuff up. When I filed this simple lawsuit for Mr. Bradley’s injuries, the last thing I expected was they would find a dead body near his house, and he’d be under investigation to two other dead bodies,” Jaroslawicz said. “That’s not what I expected when we filed our simple lawsuit.”
According to the civil complaint, in which Bradley is seeking more than $100,000 in damages, Bradley said he was shot while in a vehicle with Hernandez and two other men after leaving a strip club called Tootsies while en route to Palm Beach. Bradley ended up losing his right eye, has diminished use of his right hand and arm, experiences significant pain and will require further surgeries, he said in the complaint.
Jaroslawicz said Bradley had known Hernandez for several years and had worked for him.
“He thought they were friends,” Jaroslawicz said.
Bradley initially was hospitalized in West Palm Beach, Fla., and while there, he offered police only a vague description of his assailants, telling an investigator he only knew he was shot by “black and Hispanic” men, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s report obtained by USA TODAY Sports. The officer who interviewed Bradley wrote that when Bradley refused to cooperate further, the case was listed as inactive.
Now Jaroslawicz and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office are at odds about if and how a criminal case against Hernandez should proceed.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera told USA TODAY Sports on Friday that the department will not restart an investigation without cooperation from Bradley, adding that Bradley could call the violent crime division to begin that process.
Jaroslawicz said the fact they have filed a suit against Hernandez in federal court should be enough for the sheriff’s office to investigate Hernandez on their own.
“They know who did it. They have a sworn statement filed in federal court that Hernandez shot (Bradley). What more do they need, a picture?” Jaroslawicz said.
Meanwhile, police in Gainesville, Fla., where Hernandez played three years at the University of Florida, said they will not re-investigate if Hernandez had a role in a 2007 shooting in which two men were injured. Hernandez was interviewed by police after that incident in which two men were shot in a vehicle on a night following a Gators’ football game.
“The description of the shooter was a black male. It was not even remotely close to Mr. Hernandez’s color or build,” Gainesville Police officer Ben Tobias told USA TODAY Sports. “We did a thorough investigation at that point, and it did not lead to him whatsoever.”
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