Report: Five Rutgers players arrested
It hasn’t been the best week and a half for the Scarlet Knights.
According to an NJ.com report, five Rutgers players were charged today in an assault case involving a group of individuals, which resulted in the broken jaw of one student.
The report identified Nadir Barnwell, Tejay Johnson, Ruhann Peele, Rahzonn Gross, Delon Stephenson and his brother Daryl Stephenson.
From county prosecutor’s press release — Johnson is Tejay Johnson pic.twitter.com/mHIKbrjLiX
— Brian Amaral (@bamaral44) September 3, 2015
As you’ll recall, Barnwell was the player at the center of the investigation surrounding Rutgers coach Kyle Flood’s impermissible contact case, which is still pending. Flood is being investigated for sending an email from his personal account to Barnwell’s professor. Barnwell allegedly “badgered” the professor about what he could do to improve his grade.
Barnwell had not been declared academically ineligible from the university following failed classes in the spring. The new charges certainly won’t improve his standing with the university.
Tejay Johnson retired from football in the 2014 offseason following injuries. Of the six players named in the report above, he was the only one who wasn’t currently playing for the program.
The assault case stemmed from an investigation into an armed robbery involving Johnson in 2014.
Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann announced that all five current players involved in the case will not play on Saturday when Rutgers kicks off the season against Norfolk State.
Embattled #Rutgers AD Julie Hermann announces that the school has suspended the 5 Scarlet Knight FB players charged today.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) September 3, 2015
Here’s the full press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office:
Nine of the 10 defendants were arrested today. One remains at large. The arrests stem from an active and continuing investigation by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Brunswick Police Department.
The investigation began last spring when police were called to a home invasion on Prosper Street in New Brunswick on April 26, 2015 at 11:29 p.m., after three masked men forced their way into the home and stole an undisclosed amount of cash and marijuana from five students at gunpoint.
During an intensive investigation, police arrested Tejay Johnson, 23, of Egg Harbor. The former student was charged with robbery, criminal restraint, theft, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
As the investigation continued, police linked Johnson to a home invasion on Hartwell Street in New Brunswick on April 27, 2015.
Police determined that Johnson and Andre Boggs, 20, of Coatesville, Pa., forced their way into the home and, armed with a bat and a knife, robbed a student of approximately $900 and an undisclosed amount of marijuana.
They were arrested today on charges of robbery, burglary while armed, and conspiracy to commit an armed robbery.
Another student, Dylan Mastriana, 19, of Rio Grande, also was charged with those counts after the investigation determined that he helped plan the robbery.
In a third home invasion, Johnson and Boggs were charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and attempted burglary while armed for trying to force their way into another student’s room in a dormitory complex at Livingston College in Piscataway on May 5, 2015.
The same charges also were filed against Mastriana, Jianan Chen, 19, of New Brunswick, and Kaylanna Ricks, 20, of Perth Amboy. The investigation showed that Mastriana and Chen planned the robbery, while Ricks drove Johnson and Boggs in a getaway vehicle.
Johnson and Boggs entered the dorm, but fled when the students targeted in the robbery resisted by closing and locking the door to their room as Johnson and Boggs attempted to force their way in. Nothing was stolen in that incident.
Police further determined that Johnson was one of six individuals who surrounded a group of at least four other individuals, including a Rutgers student, and assaulted them during an incident on Delafield Street on April 25, 2015.
The six were charged today with aggravated assault, riot, and conspiracy to commit a riot. A 19-year-old male student suffered a broken jaw during the unprovoked attack.
In addition to Johnson, defendants charged in the attack were identified as: Ruhann Peele, 22, and Nadir Barnwell, 20, both of Piscataway; Rahzonn Gross, 20, of Franklin Park, and Delon Stephenson, 22, and his brother, Daryl Stephenson, 23, both of Sayreville. Daryl Stephenson, also a former student at Rutgers, remains at large.