Keith Sargeant, NJ, September 3, 2015
Five current Rutgers football players, including the cornerback at the center of a university-led investigation into coach Kyle Flood, were charged Thursday with assaulting a group of individuals, including one student whose jaw was broken during the unprovoked attack, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Anthony A. Caputo, director of the New Brunswick Police Department, announced.
The current Rutgers players 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, of Sayreville.
Delon Stephenson’s brother, Daryl Stephenson, 23, a former Rutgers student from Sayreville, remains at large, police said.
The players have been suspended indefinitely, Rutgers announced.
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.
Peele was charged with assault in August 2014 for allegedly pulling the hair and scratching the face of a girlfriend. The charges were later dropped.
Barnwell was arrested for DWI and careless driving in October 2013 after police responded to an early-morning one-car crash in Piscataway.
Here is the 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; 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.
Prosecutor Carey and Director Caputo praised investigators who worked tirelessly on the cases and additionally thanked the Rutgers University Police Department and the Egg Harbor Township Police Department for their assistance.
The investigation is active and is continuing. Anyone with information on these or similar cases 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.
As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges in this case are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
[Editor’s Note: Photos of the players are available at the original article link below.]