Published June 26, 2013
Aaron Hernandez, the former star New England Patriot tight end who had been at the center of a murder investigation after a body was found near his Massachusetts home, was arrested Wednesday morning, MyFoxBoston.com reported.
About two hours after news of his arrest, the Patriots announced his release.
"Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation. We realize that law enforcement investigations into this matter are ongoing. We support their efforts and respect the process," the team's statement said.
It was not immediately known what charges he faces. The Massachusetts State Police tweeted that Hernandez is in the process of being booked and will be arraigned shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Attleboro District Court.
"Today at approximately 8:47 a.m. Aaron Hernandez was arrested by Massachusetts State Police and North Attleboro Police," Yasmina Serdarevic, a spokeswoman from the Bristol District Attorney's Office, said in a statement. "He will be arraigned at Attleboro District Court."
Phone messages left by FoxNews.com for Hernandez's lawyer and the Bristol District Attorney's Office were not immediately returned.
Law enforcement had searched near both Hernandez's home and the industrial park where Odin Lloyd's body was found. At least three search warrants have been issued in connection with the investigation.
Lloyd, 27, was a semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits who was reportedly found dead on June 17 with multiple gunshot wounds.
Lloyd's family says he was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. They say the two men were friends and were out together on the last night of Lloyd's life. Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, declined to comment at her Boston home Wednesday morning.
"Nothing to say, please. Thank you," she said, before shutting the door.
Police entered the NFL player's home at 8:45 a.m. and, about two minutes later, they came out with a handcuffed Hernandez. He was taken to the North Attleboro Police Department for booking, MyFoxBoston.com reported. He was wearing a white V-neck T-shirt, with his arms inside the shirt and behind his back. He casually spit into some bushes on his way to the car.
The charges Hernandez faces are unclear. A source told MyFoxBoston.com that a paper warrant had been issued on an obstruction of justice charge in connection to the murder investigation.
Broadcast reports say Hernandez allegedly tampered with his own home security system and hired cleaners to scrub down his house hours before Lloyd was found dead.
Reporters have been camped out for days at Hernandez's sprawling home on the Rhode Island line, not far from the stadium where the Patriots play. They reported Tuesday that Hernandez got a visit from Boston defense attorney James Sultan.
Hernandez, who played three seasons in New England, was an All-American at Florida. But heading into the NFL draft at least one team said it took him off its draft board -- refusing to select him under any circumstances -- and all of the other teams in the league bypassed him repeatedly as he fell to New England in the fourth round.
Afterward, Hernandez said he had failed a single drug test in college -- reportedly for marijuana -- and was up front with teams about it.
But ever since he became entangled in the investigation into Lloyd's death, other off-field issues have become public.
A South Florida man filed a lawsuit last week claiming Hernandez shot him in the face after they argued at a strip club. The man, who lost his right eye, told police after the February incident that he did not know who shot him.
The Boston Globe reported that Hernandez lost his temper and threatened teammate Wes Welker during an argument in the team's weight room shortly after being drafted.
Hernandez became a father to a daughter on Nov. 6, and he said it made him think.
"I'm engaged now and I have a baby. So it's just going to make me think of life a lot differently and doing things the right way," he said. "Now, another one is looking up to me. I can't just be young and reckless Aaron no more. I'm going to try to do the right things, become a good father and (have her) be raised like I was raised."
The loss of Hernandez deprives the Patriots of the second half of one of the league's best tight end tandems. Fellow Pro Bowl selection Rob Gronkowski has had five operations this offseason on his back and broken left forearm.
Hernandez was chosen for the Pro Bowl in 2011, when he caught 79 passes for 910 yards and seven touchdowns. He missed 10 games last season with an ankle injury.
The Associated Press contributed to this report