Two Rutgers football players were arrested by the Rutgers University Police Department early this morning following an incident in which they shot three students with a paintball gun, according to an article from NJ Advance Media.
Chris Long and Max Melton, both School of Arts and Sciences sophomores, were charged with three counts of aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, as well as were suspended from the team as a result of the incident.
Head football coach Greg Schiano declined to comment after practice today but previously released a statement regarding the incident, according to the article.
“I was informed that (Long) and (Melton) were taken into police custody early this morning as a result of an incident involving a paintball gun,” he said. “Both players have been suspended immediately.”
In the incident, which occurred at approximately 10 p.m. on Monday in the area of Livingston campus, Long and Melton reportedly struck three students with paintballs while in a moving vehicle, according to the article. The three victims experienced minor injuries and declined further medical attention.
One of the victims was hit in the right elbow, another victim was hit in the left arm and lower back and the third victim was hit in the lower abdomen, all at close range, according to the article. The first and third victims’ injuries resulted in bleeding, while the second victim received bruising and welts.
Long and Melton were released from custody on their own recognizance and were given summonses to appear in the Middlesex County Superior Court on Nov. 4.
If convicted of aggravated assault alone, which is a felony in New Jersey, the two players could be facing anywhere from up to 18 months to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 and $150,000 in fines, depending on the degree.
Melton has started all three games this season and has been one of Rutgers’ best defensive players, with Long also playing all three games, according to the article. It is currently unlikely that they will be able to play in the upcoming game this Saturday.