News Column

Pats Bar Aaron Hernandez

June 21, 2013

Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, whose sprawling North Attleboro home is part of a homicide probe, was booted from Gillette Stadium yesterday when he showed up for a workout as cops continued to hunt for clues in the death of a Dorchester man, according to a source close to the team.

Hernandez, 23, was allowed in the building, but staff was waiting for him and instructed him to leave, the source told the Herald.

Patriots spokesman Stacey James would only say that he had no idea why Hernandez came to the Foxboro stadium yesterday.

"No coaches are here," said James, declining to comment further.

Also yesterday, Rumor nightclub manager Thomas Moore told the Herald that Hernandez and 27-year-old homicide victim Odin L. Lloyd sat together at a VIP table at the Theatre District nightspot last Friday reveling around a roped-off table with several hangers-on.

Investigators probing Lloyd's homicide have reviewed surveillance tapes from the club that night, sources said. A spokeswoman for Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter, who is heading the probe, declined to comment, except to say the investigation is "fluid and very active."

Moore said there was no trouble at the table, and that staffers were stunned when they saw homicide detectives on TV searching Hernandez' home earlier this week.

"Nothing happened around here," Moore said. "We knew nothing until we saw the news. We were all shocked."

Lloyd's body was found Monday night in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's $1.3 million mini-mansion. The death has been ruled a homicide.

Moore said he was not at the club when police reviewed the surveillance tapes and was unsure what investigators looked at. He said Hernandez is an occasional customer at the club, a hot spot for Boston pro athletes.

"He's been here a few times," Moore said. "All of the players come in."

A media mob tracked Hernandez' every move yesterday, with at least three news choppers following him from Gillette Stadium to a Foxboro gas station, to the Back Bay offices of his attorneys, as reporters staked out his home.

Hernandez refused to speak with reporters at the gas station yesterday, and his lawyers at the high-powered firm of Ropes & Gray did not respond to multiple inquiries.

Meanwhile, Hernandez was issued a summons yesterday out of federal court in Florida, after a former friend re-filed a lawsuit claiming the one-time Pro Bowler allegedly shot him in the face after a spat at a Miami strip club in February.

In Dorchester yesterday, Lloyd's family languished in grief and frustration, mourning their loss and saying cops have kept them in the dark about the case. His sister pleaded for witnesses to cooperate.

"I need whoever it is who knows what happened to say something," Olivia Thibou said. "Because he knows who it is. He knows who he was with and that person needs to speak up."

Family members declined again to comment on how Lloyd and Hernandez knew each other.

"We can't wish him back," Thibou said. "And as much as we want to, we can't. We'd rather just have justice. I'd rather whoever did it goes down."

The family also bristled at media reports speculating drugs were somehow part of the case.

"I hear it on the news and it hurt us. He's not a drug dealer," said a cousin who identified herself only by her first name, Camela. "He was loved. He was loved. He was loved and we need justice."

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