Leonte Carroo arrested, charged for assault under domestic violence
Leonte Carroo, a wide receiver on the Rutgers University football team, was arrested on the evening of Sept. 12 and charged with simple assault under domestic violence, according to a statement issued by Rutgers University Police Department Chief Kenneth Cop and obtained by The Daily Targum.
Carroo, 21, a School of Arts and Sciences senior from Edison, was arrested by RUPD outside the Hale Center, the training center at High Point Solutions Stadium on Busch campus, according to the statement.
Head coach Kyle Flood announced on Sunday that Carroo, the team’s all-time leader in touchdowns — 22 in his career — and a preseason All-Big Ten selection, was suspended indefinitely.
"Leonte Carroo has been suspended from our program as a result of an incident that happened last night outside our stadium that's currently under investigation," Flood said on Sunday.
The incident reportedly began with an argument between two women acquainted with Carroo, one of whom is employed by Rutgers Athletics as an ambassador for incoming recruits on game days and at other events, a source close to the team who claims to have witnessed the incident told the Targum.
The person requested anonymity due to the ongoing investigation.
When the altercation became physical, word allegedly got back to Carroo. While players and coaches urged him not to leave the locker room, the source said he rushed outside to intervene.
When Flood was asked if there was a Rutgers Athletics employee involved in the altercation, he said he was unable to comment on any details of the incident.
The fourth-year head coach and his team have been mired in controversy over the last three weeks beginning with an NJ Advance Media report by Keith Sargeant that revealed the University had launched an investigation into possible impermissible contact between Flood and a faculty member regarding the academic eligibility of former junior cornerback Nadir Barnwell.
Following the email investigation, the New Jersey chapter of the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers released a resolution to the press urging Rutgers to pursue the investigation against Flood, citing concerns of faculty bullying and intimidation.
On Aug. 25, the day NJ Advance Media released details on the investigation involving the head coach, Flood announced the suspension of five players for the first half of the the Scarlet Knights' first game, which occurred on Sept. 5 against Norfolk State.
Senior punter Tim Gleeson, junior cornerback Ruhann Peele, junior linebacker Kevin Marquez and Carroo were all suspended for a curfew violation. Sophomore quarterback Chris Laviano was reprimanded for use of a fake I.D. card, Flood said.
On Sept. 3, two days before Rutgers was set to take the field in the 2015 opener, five players, junior defensive back Delon Stephenson, sophomores Andre Boggs and fullback Razohnn Gross, along with Barnwell and Peele, were arrested on multiple charges pertaining to a string of home invasions and an assault that left an alleged victim and 19-year-old University student with a broken jaw.
Those players were dismissed 10 minutes prior to the Knights' first game.
On Sept. 10, another Rutgers football player, sophomore fullback Lloyd Terry, was arrested in connection to the home invasions allegedly perpetrated by Boggs and another former Rutgers football player, Tejay Johnson.
“Earlier today I joined Coach Flood, met with the football team and delivered a message about personal accountability and the responsibility to be caretakers of Rutgers Football and everything it represents,” said Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann in an email statement to the Targum.
Leading up to her announcement on Sept. 14, Hermann refrained from commenting on any of the allegations surrounding the football program. She is not expected to be heard from again until more information is confirmed, making a point to say that the department will not release any further comment on pending matters until they are resolved.
"As the leader of the Athletic Department, I felt it was important to meet with the players to express my profound disappointment over recent issues involving the program, but at the same time make the team fully aware that they have my unwavering support," she said in the statement.
Hermann said the program represents Rutgers well and houses leaders with integrity that serve as "exemplary ambassadors for the University."
With media outlets calling for Flood to be fired and the program to be dissected, the highest-paid state employee in New Jersey is taking responsibility for his team’s actions.
“As the head coach, everything ultimately reflects on you,” Flood said. “It's part of the job. If you shy away from that, you probably shouldn't do the job.”