5 Rutgers football players charged after break-ins, unprovoked assault
Authorities say four current Rutgers football players took part in an unprovoked assault on a group of people in New Brunswick this past spring — breaking the jaw of another student.
Another Rutgers football player is among several people charged in a series of home invasions, as is another current Rutgers student. A former student allegedly took part in both types of crimes.
They're all among 10 people charged in all today in the two types of crimes.
The current players charged in the assault: Ruhann Peele, 22, of Piscataway; Nadir Barnwell, 20, of Piscataway; Rahzonn Gross, 20, of Franklin Park; Delon Stephenson, 22, of Sayreville.
Daryl Stephenson, 23 — Delon's older brother as well as a former Rutgers student — was charged in the assault as well. He remains at large, authorities say.
Barnwell is reportedly the same player about whose grades coach Kyle Flood is alleged to have inquired, possibly in violation of NCAA and university rules.
Player Andre Boggs, 20, of Coatesville, is among five people charged in the home invasions, in which various people including current students were targeted for drugs and cash, officials say. The only person implicated in both is former Rutgers student Tejay Johnson, 23, of Egg Harbor.
All the involved students have been suspended, according to the school, but Rutgers athletic Director Julie Hermann denied further comment.
On April 26, police were called to a home invasion on Prosper Street in New Brunswick, officials said. Three masked men had forced their way into the home and stolen cash and marijuana from five students at gunpoint.
After "an intensive investigation," police arrested Johnson, one of the former students, authorities said. He was charged with robbery, criminal restraint, theft and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Johnson was also linked to a home invasion on Hartwell Street in New Brunswick that took place the next day, authorities said.
In that second robbery, Johnson and Boggs (a current Rutgers player) 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, authorities said
They were arrested Thursday on charges of robbery, burglary while armed and conspiracy to commit an armed robbery.
Another student, Dylan Mastriana, 19, of Rio Grande, was charged with those counts after the authorities determined that he helped plan the robbery. Mastriana is not on the roster of football players.
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, authorities said.
Again, Mastriana was hit with identical charges. So were Jianan Chen, 19, of New Brunswick, and Kaylanna Ricks, 20, of Perth Amboy, who have not been identified by authorities as Rutgers students. Authorities say 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, authorities say. Nothing was stolen in that incident.
Authorities also say Johnson was one of six individuals — including the four current players and still at-large Daryl Stephenson — 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.
All six were charged Thursday with aggravated assault, riot, and conspiracy to commit a riot. A 19-year-old male student suffered a broken jaw during the unprovoked attack, officials said.
As part of the investigation, detectives searched an apartment on Hamilton Street in New Brunswick on Aug. 28, 2015, and seized 93 grams of marijuana, a stun gun, and $35,273 that was raised in illicit drug transactions, authorities said. Chen was charged on Aug. 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.
Authorities ask anyone with information on these or similar cases to call Detective Drew Weiss of the New Brunswick Police Department at 732-745-5217, or Detective Gregory Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-4054.