Rutgers University football players among 10 charged in series of home invasions and assault

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (WPVI) -- Several Rutgers University football players are among 10 facing charges in a series of assault and home invasion incidents.

The Middlesex County Prosecutor said Thursday that four RU students and two former RU students were involved in the crimes.

The investigation kicked off after police investigated a home invasion in New Brunswick on April 25, where three masked men forced their way into a house and stole cash and marijuana from five students at gunpoint.

From that incident, police arrested 23-year-old Tejay Johnson, of Egg Harbor. He's a former Rutgers student and football player who was sidelined due to injury. He was a a three-star recruit.

Police linked Johnson to another home invasion that happened on Harwell Street in New Brunswick two days after the first one.

According to prosecutors, Johnson and 20-year-old Andre Boggs, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, were armed with a bat and a knife when they forced their way into the house and robbed a student of $900 and marijuana.

Boggs is also a former Rutgers student and played football at the school.

As the investigation continued, police arrested another Rutgers student, 19-year-old Dylan Mastriana, of Rio Grande, after they say he helped planned the robbery.

There was a third attempted home invasion that occurred at a dorm at Livingston College in Piscataway on May 5. Prosecutors said Johnson and Boggs were involved in that incident.

Mastriana and 19-year-old Jianan Chen, of New Brunswick, planned that robbery, according to prosecutors, and 20-year-old Ricks, of Perth Amboy, drove the getaway car.

In that incident, the would-be victims closed and locked their room - and the suspects fled without getting anything.

The prosecutor's office said that the investigation also led them to connect Johnson to an assault incident on Delafield Street on April 25. In that case, Johnson and five others allegedly surrounded a group of four people and assaulted them.

At least one of the victims in that case was a student at Rutgers, and the prosecutor said a 19-year-old suffered a broken jaw during the incident.

Police later identified others they say were involved in the assault: 22-year-old Ruhann Peele, 20-year-old Nadir Barnwell, both of Piscataway; 20-year-old Rahzonn Gross, of Franklin Park; 22-year-old Delon Stephenson and his brother, 23-year-old Daryl Stephenson, both of Sayreville. Daryl Stephenson is a former Rutgers student.

Peele is a fourth-year junior and cornerback at Rutgers. Barnwell is a football recruit from Piscataway High School, studying criminal justice. Gross is a fullback from Don Bosco Prep and also a criminal justice major.

Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann issued this statement following the arrests:

"The students involved are currently suspended from our program. We continue to monitor the situation. We will have no further comment as this is a pending legal matter. "
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