5 Rutgers Football Players Suspended Amid Criminal Charges

Five Rutgers University football players have been suspended following a violent two-week spree of home invasion robberies last spring and an unprovoked assault that resulted in a broken jaw for a student at the New Jersey school, authorities say.

Current Scarlet Knights players Andre Boggs, 20, Ruhann Peele, 2, Nadir Barnwell, 20, Rahzonn Gross, 20, and Delon Stephenson, 22, were all arrested this week, authorities say.

Former player Tejay Johnson and student Daryl Stephenson – Delon Stephenson’s 23-year-old brother -- are also facing charges.

Authorities say that Johnson and Boggs are facing charges in connection with a string of at least three home invasion robberies in late April and early May. Johnson and the other individuals facing charges were also allegedly involved in the unprovoked beatdown of a group of students around that time. The other players facing charges were only involved in the fight, authorities say.

Police began investigating the players after learning of three home invasion robberies of students in and around campus between April 26 and May 5, Middlesex County prosecutors say.

In the first, on April 26 three masked gunmen burst into a home and stole cash and marijuana from a group of students living there.

The next day, two men later identified as Johnson and Boggs, according to officials, stormed into another student’s home, stealing $900 cash and marijuana from a student while wielding a knife and a baseball bat.

Then, on May 5, authorities say that the two players were linked to a third robbery attempt, when authorities say masked men tried to force their way into a dorm room. The students inside were able to keep the assailants out, however, and the robbers ran off.

Four other people, including at least one other Rutgers student, was arrested for allegedly helping carry out the robberies.

Police investigating the string of robberies were then able to link Johnson to a violent assault about five blocks from campus on April 25, authorities said.

In the attack, Johnson, Peele, Barnwell, Gross, and the Stephenson brothers allegedly surrounded a group of four people and attacked. One of the victims, a 19-year-old student, sustained a broken jaw during the attack.

Boggs is one of the team's starting cornerbacks, while Delon Stephenson lines up at free safety. Peele, Barnwell and Gross were expected to start the season as reserves. Johnson ended his career with the team in 2014 due to injuries, while Daryl Stephenson left the team after the 2015 season. 

In a statement, Rutgers' athletic director Julie Hermann said the active players have been suspended from the football program.

"We continue to monitor the situation," Hermann said in a statement. "We have will have no further comment as this is a pending legal matter." 

Attorney information for the players wasn't immediately available. 

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