Aaron Hernandez’s older brother is facing a slew of charges after a mental health crisis sparked by his recognition as a relative of the late football star turned murderer, police say.
Dennis John ‘DJ’ Hernandez ‘became extremely upset’ when he believed he had been identified as Aaron’s brother at Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island on July 3, Bristol Police patrolman Zachary Levine testified in court on Tuesday, according to the WFSB.
“His mental health has deteriorated since then,” Levine said.
The former University of Connecticut football player, 37, was in New Bristol Superior Court on charges of threats and breach of the peace related to an arrest on July 19, WTNH reported.
A relative reported DJ to the cops after he allegedly threatened his ex-wife’s life – and said he had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Levine said.
Another witness, believed to be DJ’s ex-girlfriend, later told police he had borrowed his car on July 7 to attend a court date – but had instead traveled to UConn and Brown campuses to “‘map schools'” for shootings, arrest warrant alleged.
Then, on July 19, he reportedly posted a series of disturbing messages on social media.
“Am I going to k**l? Absolutely. I have warned my haters, so pay up front,” reads the last line of a message.
DJ begged the cops to shoot him when they arrived at his Bristol residence later that day.
He was eventually handcuffed after being subdued by a stun gun, according to body camera footage – and remains in custody.
He did not plead Tuesday.
DJ also faces federal charges of interstate hara*sment and transmitting threatening interstate communications related to the alleged threats, WTNH reported.
On Tuesday, the judge extended a protective order barring him from contacting his estranged wife.
The July arrest was the fourth this year for DJ; he is due back in court on August 15 on a violation of peace charge related to allegations he threw a rock at ESPN headquarters in May.
The latest court date comes amid a troubling downward spiral for the Hernandez family that began when the UConn star’s younger brother – New England Patriots player Aaron – was arrested for murder in 2013.
On April 19, 2017, while facing both a life sentence without parole and charges of involvement in other murders, Aaron committed suicide in his prison cell.
In a 2018 memoir, DJ alleged that both brothers had suffered physical abuse at the hands of their father.