MIAMI - New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, already connected to a homicide victim in Massachusetts, is being sued in South Florida by a man claiming Hernandez shot him in the face after they argued at a strip club.
The lawsuit filed late Wednesday by 30-year-old Alexander Bradley comes as police in New England investigate the death of 27-year-old semi-pro player Odin Lloyd. Lloyd's body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Mass. Lloyd's family has said he had some connection to Hernandez but would not elaborate.
In his federal lawsuit seeking at least $100,000 in damages, Bradley claims he and Hernandez were with a group in February at Tootsie's club in Miami when the two got into an argument. Later, as they were driving to Palm Beach County, Bradley claims Hernandez shot him with a handgun, causing him to lose his right eye.
Bradley, who is from Connecticut, also suffers from jaw pain, headaches, permanent injury to his right hand and arm and will probably need further surgery, according to the lawsuit. He has already undergone facial reconstruction surgery and has plates and screws in the right side of his face.
Bradley did not mention Hernandez in a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report at the time. Bradley, found shot and bleeding Feb. 13 in an alley behind a John Deere store, insisted to investigators he did not know who shot him and gave only a vague description of possible assailants. A store employee found Bradley after hearing a shot outside, but the store's video surveillance system wasn't working.
Hernandez's lawyer did not immediately respond Thursday to an email seeking comment about the lawsuit. The lawsuit does not mention how Hernandez and Bradley are acquainted.
Media camped out Thursday at Hernandez's home, on the Rhode Island state line not far from the Patriots' stadium in Foxborough. A news helicopter followed along as Hernandez drove in a white SUV from his home to the stadium, then got out and went inside.
A Massachusetts State Police emergency response team on Thursday was searching the brush with metal detectors and poles on a road leading to the entrance to Hernandez's subdivision.
• The Cowboys have released defensive end Anthony Hargrove, a little more than a month after signing the nine-year NFL veteran to a one-year deal. The Cowboys announced Hargrove's release Thursday.
• The Broncos signed free agent center Dan Koppen, bringing the 11-year veteran back after J.D. Walton had offseason surgery on his left ankle. Koppen signed with the Broncos last October and started 12 regular-season games after Walton first hurt his ankle. Walton was expected back this season but needed more surgery this offseason.
Koppen played his first nine seasons with the Patriots.