A week after being arrested last summer, Aaron Hernandez was called a “model inmate” by Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson. Several months later, that same description doesn’t seem to apply.
On Tuesday, the former NFL player got into a fight with another prisoner at the Bristol County House of Corrections. TMZ first broke the news, claiming Hernandez was the aggressor, attacking the inmate. Hodgson has since confirmed the report.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing. It’s unknown how Hernandez was able to come into contact with the other man, since he is kept separate from the rest of the population, because of his celebrity status. The fight occurred when Hernandez was given permission to walk in an isolated hallway.
Hodgson told the New York Daily News that three guards were near where the incident occurred. There are eight cells in the housing unit where Hernandez is being held, and six were holding a prisoner during the fight.
“It’s a specialized unit, the procedure is one inmate allowed out at a time, so obviously that’s a concern to me and everyone here, that there was potentially a shortfall, a systematic failure in our procedures,” Hodgson said. “We’re going to look at, why were they out at the same time? Was it a judgment error on the part of a staff member, some emergency or something, what exactly was it?”
Hernandez reportedly got the better of the inmate, who never had much of a chance. The 24-year-old beat up a man who was wearing handcuffs. Hernandez’s hands were free, at the time of the fight, which has been described as “brutal.”
The reason for the altercation hasn’t been specified, but TMZ reports that the inmate had words for Hernandez throughout the day. The fight, itself, didn’t even last a minute.
Hernandez could face new charges, stemming from the assault. The ex-football player is currently facing one count of first-degree murder, for the death of Odin Lloyd, and five counts of illegal weapons possession. Authorities are also investigating Hernandez’s possible involvement in the July 2012 murder of two men in Boston.