CFT - Well, I suppose now we know what all the commotion was about at Rutgers practice today.
Of the four Rutgers students and two former students charged today with assaulting a group of individuals, five are Rutgers football players and another is a former player. The assault left one student with a broken jaw and the attack was reportedly unprovoked. A total of nine defendants were arrested today, and one more is still to be arrested. Five players confirmed to have been charged are defensive backs Ruhann Peele, Nadir Barnwell, Dre Boggs and Delon Stephenson and fullback Razohnn Gross. Barnwell is the player linked to the separate ongoing university investigation of head coach Kyle Flood, who was allegedly contacting a professor about Barnwell’s eligibility status. Boggs and Stephenson were projected starters for Rutgers this weekend. All five of the current players have been suspended from the program while the legal process develops.
The former player arrested was Tejay Johnson, who was charged with robbery, criminal restraint, theft, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Johnson’s career was cut short due to injury in 2014 prior to Big Ten media days.
Did I plan on entering the brand new college football season blogging more about Rutgers than virtually anyone else? No I did not, but they’ve earned it.
They made their splash with their pure love of the game and the amount of fun they were having out there –
But they really cemented their legacy with a big ass day of arrests. I mean look at how hard they went:
Nine of the 10 defendants were arrested today. One remains at large.
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; Razohnn 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.
As part of the investigation, detectives searched an apartment on Hamilton Street in New Brunswick on August 28, 2015, and seized 93 grams of marijuana, a stun gun, and $35,273 that was raised in illicit drug transactions. Jianan Chen was charged on August 29, 2015 with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute, and possession of the stun gun.
Bail has been set at $625,000 for Johnson; $500,000 each for Boggs and Mastriana; $100,000 for Chen and Ricks; $75,000 for Delon Stephenson, and $25,000 each for Daryl Stephenson, Peele, Barnwell, and Gross. [NJ]
Oh and that cornerback Barnwell? That’s the cherry on top. Also happens to be involved in some academic scandal and investigation.
Barnwell is at the center of the investigation of Flood, with the university looking into whether the Rutgers football coach broke school policy by contacting a professor regarding Barnwell’s grades. The junior cornerback was declared academically ineligible in the spring, according to two school officials.
Have a day Rutgers! Have a day. What did I say last blog? “Never a dull moment in News Brunswick?” When you’re right, you’re right.