NEW BRUNSWICK - Eight Rutgers University students and two former students were charged Thursday in connection with two investigations by the New Brunswick Police Department.
The investigations involved home invasion robberies and assault. Five of the eight students arrested play for the Rutgers football team.
According to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, the investigation began last spring when New Brunswick police were called to a home invasion on Prospect Street on April 26. During that crime, three masked men forced their way into the home and stole money and marijuana at gunpoint from five Rutgers students.
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Two more related home invasion robberies took place over the next two weeks, one of them in a dorm room on the Livingston College campus in Piscataway.
New Brunswick police investigated the three crimes and were able to identify five suspects: Tejay Johnson, 23; Andre Boggs, 20; Dylan Mastriana, 19; Jianan Chen, 19 and Kaylanna Ricks, 20. They were arrested and face a series of charges.
While investigating the home invasions, New Brunswick police were able to connect Johnson to an assault that happened on Delafield Street in New Brunswick on April 25.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office says Johnson, four Rutgers football players and another former Rutgers student allegedly surrounded a group of four people and assaulted them. A 19-year-old Rutgers student suffered a broken jaw during the attack. Prosecutors say that the attack was unprovoked.
The six were charged with aggravated assault, riot and conspiracy to commit a crime. Charged were: Johnson, as well as Ruhann Peele, 22; Nadir Barnwell, 20; Rahzonn Gross, 20; Delon Stephenson, 22 and his brother Daryl Stephenson, 23.
Daryl Stephenson is a former Rutgers student and is currently still at large.
Peele, Barnwell, Gross, Boggs and Delon Stephenson are Rutgers football players. Athletic Director Julie Hermann says that all five of the players have been suspended from the team.
The arrests come as football coach Kyle Flood is under investigation by the university, for reportedly contacting a university faculty member about the academic status of Barnwell, a violation of NCAA rules.
Anyone who has any information about the whereabouts of Daryl Stephenson or who may have any more details about the crimes is asked 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.