[dropcap]A[/dropcap] fight broke out at a Connecticut diner over the weekend after Iowa graduate assistant D.J. Hernandez was mistaken for his brother Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL star now facing a murder charge.
D.J. Hernandez was head coach at Southington (Conn.) High before moving to the college ranks.
D.J. Hernandez was present at the Gold Roc Diner in West Hartford around 4 a.m. Saturday when the fight took place, but was not involved in the altercation.
“It was just customers who thought it was Aaron Hernandez,” Norine Derocco, manager of the diner, told the Iowa City Press-Citizen on Monday. “That’s how the fight actually started. They thought it was Aaron Hernandez himself.
“And then someone said, ‘No it’s his brother,’ and then a fight broke out. But whoever the person was, if it was D.J. Hernandez … (he was) not involved in the actual fight.”
University of Iowa Sports Information Director Steve Roe told the Press-Citizen on Monday that D.J. Hernandez was present during the skirmish.
Three men — Alberto Lopez, 30, of Bristol, Conn.; Jesus Agosto, 36 of New Britain, Conn.; and Thomas Miller, 30 of Torrington, Conn. — were arrested and charged with third-degree assault, breach of peace and third-degree criminal mischief, according to a West Hartford Police Department report.
It’s not clear which, if any, of the three men were with D.J. Hernandez.
D.J. Hernandez played football at UConn from 2004-08 and coached high school ball in the state before becoming quarterbacks coach at Brown in 2011.
After spending 2012 as an offensive graduate assistant at Miami (Fla.), D.J. Hernandez joined the Iowa staff in January and works with the tight ends.
His younger brother, Aaron, has been charged with murder in relation to the June 17 death of Odin Lloyd, the boyfriend of Aaron Hernandez’s girlfriend’s sister.
Aaron Hernandez was released by the Patriots the same day he was charged with murder.
Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz said recently that D.J. Hernandez was holding up well in the wake of his brother’s murder charge.
“He’s fine,” Ferentz told reporters last week.
Photo: Dave Zajac/Meridien Record-Journal