(Reuters) - Five Rutgers University football players were suspended from the team after being arrested on Thursday, with four accused of assault and one charged in a pair of home invasions, New Jersey authorities said.
Charges against the state university students were announced by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office just days before the start of the Scarlet Knights football season kicks off on Saturday.
Altogether eight Rutgers students and two former students were charged in the incidents, said Jim O’Neill, the prosecutor’s office spokesman.
The assault charges involved an unprovoked attack on April 25 by some members of the group on a 19-year-old male Rutgers student, who suffered a broken jaw, the prosecutor’s office said.
Charged with aggravated assault, riot and conspiracy to commit a riot were team wide receiver Ruhann Peele, 22, and cornerback Nadir Barnwell, 20, both of Piscataway; fullback Razohnn Gross, 20, of Franklin Park; and defensive back Delon Stephenson, 22, of Sayreville, all in New Jersey.
The fifth player, cornerback Andre Boggs, 20, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, was charged in two home invasions that targeted students for cash and drugs.
“The students involved are currently suspended from our program,” said Tom Luicci, Scarlet Knights spokesman. “We will have no further comment as this is a pending legal matter.”
Bail was set at $500,000 for Boggs, $75,000 for Stephenson and $25,000 each for Peele, Barnwell and Gross, the prosecutor’s office said.
Lawyers for the players were not immediately identified.
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Eric Beech