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Aaron Hernandez update: Ex-Patriot moved to new cell; incident at Florida revealed

07.02.13 at 8:24 am ET
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Aaron Hernandez continues to kept away from other inmates for his own safety, Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson said Monday. Reiterating what he told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan last week, Hodgson explained to NFL Network and NFL.com that Hernandez was kept in the medical ward 23 hours a day for his first five days in prison.

On Monday, the former Patriots tight end was moved to a small, single cell. He is out of the cell for three hours: one in the shower area, one in the exercise yard and one in the common area/commissary. No other inmates are allowed in those areas with Hernandez.

Hodgson also said Monday that Hernandez denied having any gang ties, and the sheriff is less concerned than when he first saw Hernandez’s many tattoos, although prison authorities still are “being very cautious.”

• A report in The Wall Street Journal on Monday revealed that Hernandez was involved in an incident a few months after he enrolled at Florida in 2007.

While at a restaurant called The Swamp near the Florida campus in Gainesville, Hernandez allegedly had two alcoholic drinks then refused to pay because he said he didn’t order the drinks. Following an argument with restaurant employee Michael Taphorn, Hernandez was escorted outside. Hernandez later told police that Taphorn began yelling at him, and Hernandez punched Taphorn in the side of the head as the employee started to walk away. Taphorn initially refused medical treatment but later was diagnosed with a burst right eardrum.

Hernandez, who was 17 at the time, was not arrested, although the department recommended a charge of felony battery after the extent of the injury was revealed.

Urban Meyer, who coached Hernandez at Florida from 2007-09, refused comment when asked about the troubled player Monday.

Zac Jackson of FSN Ohio asked the current Ohio State coach what he thought of the situation, but Meyer would only say: “I’m not going to talk about that.”

Meyer reportedly was very close to Hernandez during their time at Florida, with Meyer welcoming Hernandez into his home as the player was dealing with the death of his father.

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