Sports

Scarlet Knightmares: Five Rutgers Football Players Arrested, Coach Flood’s Probe Continues As Opening Game Approaches

1935251c3175a4712317_b369cdc0dc611a38c03a_RutgersR.jpg
1935251c3175a4712317_b369cdc0dc611a38c03a_RutgersR.jpg

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Five Rutgers University football players, including a township high school star alumnus, are among a total of 10 people arrested Thursday on a variety of charges relating to assaults, home invasions, cash and drugs, according to officials.

In a press release Thursday afternoon, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said that four university students and two former students were charged with allegedly assaulting a group of individuals, breaking one student’s jaw.

One of the former students charged in that incident is also believed to be involved, with four other people, in the “home invasions” of other campus students, designed to steal drugs and cash, according to the release.

Sign Up for E-News

Thursday’s arrests of nine of the 10 suspects in all of the incidents followed “an intensive investigation” by both the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and New Brunswick Police.

According to the release, the investigations began during the spring when police were called to a report of a home invasion at 11:29 p.m. on Prosper Street in the city.

Three masked men allegedly forced their way into the home and stole an undisclosed amount of cash and marijuana from five students at gunpoint, according to the release.

An investigation of that incident led police to charge former Rutgers student and football player Teejay Johnson, 23, of Egg Harbor with robbery, criminal restraint, theft and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

Police were then able to link Johnson to another home invasion on Hartwell Street in New Brunswick on April 27.

According to police, Johnson and Andre Boggs, 20, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, forced their way into the home armed with a baseball bat and knife, stealing about $900 and an undisclosed amount of marijuana.

They were both charged in that case with robbery, burglary while armed and conspiracy to commit 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, according to the release.

The group attempted a third home invasion at a dormitory complex at Livingston College on May 5.

Police said Johnson and Boggs entered the dorm, but fled empty handed after the students targeted in the attempt resisted by closing the door and locking the alleged assailants out.

Johnson, Boggs, Mastriana Chen, 19, of New Brunswick, and Kaylanna Ricks, 20, of Perth Amboy were each charged with robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and attempted burglary in that case, according to police.

Johnson was also charged in connection with an assault on a group of four others on Delafield Street in New Brunswick on April 25.

The six allegedly attacked the other group, breaking the jaw of a 19-year-old Rutgers student, according to police.

Johnson, 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, were each charged with aggravated assault, riot and conspiracy to commit a riot.

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.

Daryl Stephenson, also a former student at Rutgers, remains at large, police said.

Five of the six are current players on the Scarlet Knights Football Team, and were scheduled to play in Saturday’s home opener against Norfolk State.

University Athletic Director Julie Herman put out a statement Thursday afternoon briefly saying that the players have been “suspended from the program.”

“We continue to monitor the situation,” her statement said. “We will have no further comment as this is a pending legal matter.''

The arrests came shortly after Scarlet Knights Head Coach Kyle Flood spoke to reporters at a press conference and said that the team was doing well, already working through a potential “distraction” caused when Flood allegedly contacted one of Barnwell’s professors by email to see if the junior cornerback was going to be eligible academically to play.

NCAA officials gave the university jurisdiction over the incident.

According to Flood, his “part of the process” has been concluded, and he would not speak about any timelines for a decision.

It is not clear what, if any, penalties would be imposed on the coach. Contacting professors directly to intercede for a player is not allowed.

In an earlier press conference, Flood said the communication was nothing out of the ordinary, and designed to see if there was any further work required of the player to improve his grade.

Flood said many students, not just athletes, are assigned “T” or temporary grades at the end of a semester that could be improved upon with other work.

In regard to whether or not he would be leading the team down the tunnel in Saturday’s game, Flood said he believed he would be.

“I have no reason to believe I wouldn't be the person leading the football team on Saturday,” Flood said. “Until there is a resolution, I really need to be respectful of the process and I won’t have any further comment on that.”

Flood said that he had not been given an eligibility report on Barnwell, and did not expect to see one until Friday, but that was shortly before word of the arrests and suspensions were made public.

Coach Flood’s office had no further comment on the situation after the arrests and suspensions were announced Thursday afternoon.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

Maplewood Police Blotter - Man Arrested for Package Thefts

April 20, 2018

April 5 - Shoplifting; At approximately 3:15 p.m. officers responded to the Extra Supermarket on Irvington Ave on a reported shoplifter. Jean Legerme, age 21 of Newark was detained by security for attempting to leave the store without paying for several items. He was arrested, taken into custody and later released after being charged on a summons.

April 5 - Shoplifting; At ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Theft and Burglary Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of April 19

Theft - An East Orange resident reported that on Tuesday, April 17, at approximately 9:20 a.m., actor(s) unknown stole some tools from a construction site on Valley Street. The stolen tools, valued at over $500.00 were a Makita brand drill set and electrical saw.

Burglary to Auto - An Irvington resident reported that on Thursday, April ...

41st Annual SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Service and March of Remembrance Held on Sunday

April 19, 2018

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The 41st Annual SOMA Interfaith Holocaust Service and March of Remembrance was held on Sunday, April 15. The march assembled in Spiotta Park on Maplewood Avenue in Maplewood, and was called to order with the blowing of the shofar.

Local elected officials who attended included Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca, Maplewood Township Committee member Dean Dafis, and ...

Water Main Break on Baker Street in Maplewood Wednesday Morning

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Shortly after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Maplewood police reported receiving a call from a commuter on his way to work who noticed a small geyser of water in front of 34 Baker St., next to the driveway to the Maplewood Country Club. 

According to Maplewood police, they requested assistance from New Jersey American Water to shut off the water, but as of 7:10 a.m., ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, April 21, 10:00 AM

Maplewood Memorial Library, Maplewood

Spring Book Sale - Friends of Maplewood Library

Education Giving Back Other

Carousel_image_4930b780b62b906e0c8e_e33016f1b524cbf30d1f_mini_magick20180329-98141-1flyvbq

Sat, April 21, 12:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Millburn Library Annual Book Sale

Carousel_image_841c5df0daca396f547a_turquoise_and_yellow_bunting_1st_birthday_invitation

Sat, April 21, 12:00 PM

Sadie's, South Orange

Half Birthday Bake Sale for Take The Cake

Giving Back

Sun, April 22, 10:30 AM

Millburn

Do Good, Feel Good, Have Fun!

Giving Back

Essex County Announces Partnership with Nine Local Charitable Organizations

April 20, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Essex County will participating in nine special partnerships to increase awareness about and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the Arc of Essex County, the New Jersey Children Alliance, Stop for Nikhil, The Valerie Fund, the Arthritis Foundation, the Saint Barnabas Medical Center's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and ...

Kiburi Tucker Sentenced to 38 Months in Federal Prison

NEWARK, NJ - Kiburi Tucker, a longtime friend of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and the business partner of a Newark woman who admitted to tax evasion last year, was sentenced today to more than three years in prison for wire fraud and tax evasion, federal authorities announced. 

Kiburi D. Tucker, 43, of Newark, pleaded guilty in November before Chief U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares after ...

Amazon Works to End Stigma of “Free and Reduced” Meals at School

April 21, 2018

FLORENCE, NJ – There is a widely unknown problem in schools all over America: a stigma among many children who are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

Rather than face the peer pressure of receiving breakfast or lunch through this federal program, many choose to remain hungry.

To help eliminate the practice, Amazon has partnered with Share our Strength’s “No Kid ...

Endangered Bog Turtle Plods Through Senate Towards Official Designation as State Reptile

TRENTON, NJ - The endangered bog turtle is one step closer to being designated New Jersey's official state reptile, following State Senate approval of legislation sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman (R-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) and inspired by students from Princeton.

Riverside Elementary School Students Kyle Grzmala and Hayah Mian, and their teacher Mark Eastburn, joined ...

Author Visit: Peter Golden at Millburn Library

April 21, 2018

The Millburn Free Public Library is pleased to welcome acclaimed journalist, novelist, and historian Peter Golden on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at 7:00pm, to discuss his new book, Nothing is Forgotten.

Featuring Peter Golden’s signature “vivid characters and strong storytelling” (The Washington Post), Nothing Is Forgotten changes our understanding of the ...

South Orange Fencer and Origin Athlete Victoria Pevzner Captures Silver Medal in Poland

11 year-old fencer Victoria Pevzner placed second in the U-13 Girls’ Foil event at 2018 Challenge Wratislavia, an international youth fencing tournament in Wroclaw, Poland, March 22-26, 2018.

The 13 year-old and under’ girls foil event included over 180 competitors from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine and ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace & Cafe - April 20 to April 26

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Barbers 1833 Vintage Reserve $9.99lb (Cheese)
Mountaire Chicken Tenders $2.99lb (Meat)
Edy’s Ice Cream 2/$10
Mangos 3/$5
Housemade Premade Juice 12oz $3.99 (Bakery)
Grilled Asparagus $7.99lb (Prep Food)
Rana Pasta ...