Dennis “DJ” Hernandez, the brother of the late NFL player Aaron Hernandez, is accused of making threats against the University of Connecticut, Brown University as well as individuals, and has been arrested.
Dennis Hernandez played college football at UConn and he served as the quarterbacks coach for Brown’s football team for one season, in the 2011-12 academic year.
Bristol, Connecticut police arrested him on July 19 and he has been charged with threatening and breach of peace in the second degree.
The victim who police spoke with told them that Hernandez is “extremely sick and” that his mental health is deteriorating, the arrest warrant says.
Hernandez had told her and he’d gone to the University of Connecticut and Brown University to “map the schools out,” and was planning a school shooting, the arrest warrant says.
The investigation started when a woman contacted police and said Hernandez had been displaying “very erratic behavior” and she was concerned that he might try to hurt someone, according to the arrest warrant.
She told police that another woman had gotten text messages from Hernandez and he had threatened to fly to Florida and kill her, the arrest warrant application says.
Police spoke with the woman who received the messages and she said the messages from Hernandez said, “we’re taking lives if (expletive) isn’t paid up. It’s been years in the planning just taking notes, names and locations. They talked their way into this and it’s almost gone.”
The victim told police that she didn’t want Hernandez to be arrested, but hoped he received the help he needed.
Police also spoke with a former girlfriend of Hernandez who said he was supposed to be in court on July 7, but he told he went to UConn and went into buildings and classrooms instead and he also went to Providence College, referring to Brown University, according to the arrest warrant.
She told police that Hernandez was rambling and said, “he has a bullet for everyone,” that he loves her, but that even she is not safe, the arrest warrant says.
In July, Hernandez created several concerning social media posts that contained threatening and concerning language, most of which included ramblings about people who had wronged him, according to the arrest warrant.
Police noted that the last line of the first post was, “Will I kill?” Absolutely I’ve warned my enemies so pay up front.”
Police wrote that it became “readily apparent” from text messages that Dennis “was gravely disabled and a danger to society.”
A large police presence went to Hernandez’s home. But he did not respond to a knock on the door.
When an officer spoke with Hernandez on the phone, he said he was on foot, armed, and if anyone was approaching “he would kill all of us,” referring to police, the arrest warrant application says.
Soon after the call, Hernandez walked out of the house, walked toward police and started yelling to shoot him, according to the arrest warrant.
Police used a stun gun and Hernandez fell to the ground.
Bristol EMS then responded and Henandez was evaluated.
While Hernandez was at the hospital, he continued to make threats, including threats to kill anyone who profited off his brother, Aaron, according to the arrest warrant application.
Police said he also mentioned ESPN, but not any people.
Hernandez was brought to the Bristol police department and held on $250,000.
When police notified the victim that Hernandez had been arrested, she told them she had received additional threatening messages from Hernandez, including one that said, “UConn program is going to pay unless I have a package deal and I get my estate and every single thing I have worked for, The coaches and university officials want to be selfish and selective about (expletive), well I am too. Very. They are going to get surprised. Love you, I would recommend remaining away from there because when I go I’m taking down everything And I don’t give a (expletive) who gets caught in the cross fire (sic).”
The message went on to say:
“I’ve died for wears (sic) now and now it’s others (sic) peoples turn. I’m prepared to give my life So if I don’t get to see you on the outside know I love you always,” according to the arrest warrant.
It went on to say, “Not all shootings are bad I’m realizing. Some are necessary for change to happen.”
UConn released a statement on Tuesday.
“The UConn Police Department was aware of initial information related to the subsequent arrest of Dennis Hernandez by the Bristol Police Department. Police departments evaluate threats for credibility and imminence and the necessary resources are deployed to address the threat. At the time, there was no known imminent threat to UConn.”
UConn said the UConn Police Department treats any potential threat to the campus communities with
the utmost seriousness.”
Brown University said Tuesday it did not appear that Hernandez had been on campus in recent weeks.
“On July 18, 2023, officers from the Bristol Police Department in Connecticut alerted Brown’s Department of Public Safety to alleged threats by Hernandez that referenced multiple schools. Brown Police implemented protective measures immediately and remained in contact with police in Connecticut, who arrested the suspect shortly thereafter,” a statement from Brown University states.
The school said it remains in contact with law enforcement in Connecticut.
Hernandez remains in custody, according to online court records, and he is due in court on Aug. 1.