Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rutgers Star's Girlfriend and Mom Charged with Assault

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rutgers Star's Girlfriend and Mom Charged with Assault

Article excerpt

The mother and girlfriend of Rutgers University football star Leonte Carroo were charged Tuesday with assault in connection with a chaotic incident outside the football training center that led to the wide receiver's arrest for domestic violence and his suspension from the team, a school spokesman said.

Lavern Carroo, 41, of Edison and Maria Vega, 20, of Fort Lee were charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct, according to a release from the Rutgers University Police Department. Vega's father, Juan Vega, 52, also of Fort Lee, was charged with the same offenses, officials said.

Leonte Carroo, 21, known well beyond the Rutgers campus as one of the top receivers in the Big Ten athletic conference, was charged last week with simple assault and domestic violence for allegedly slamming a 20-year-old Bergen woman, with whom he had a romantic relationship, to the concrete outside the Hale Center on Sept. 12 after the Scarlet Knights' close loss to Washington State.

No one else was charged at the time and details about the incident were sparse, as police said an investigation was continuing.

But the woman told The Record in an interview last Wednesday that Carroo's girlfriend had started a fight with her and knocked her down, that the girlfriend's father kicked her and that Carroo's mother pulled the hair of a woman who tried to intervene on her behalf. She said she managed to get up and pin Maria Vega down when Carroo came up behind her, picked her up and slammed her to the concrete.

Her account echoed some of the descriptions included in the news release from campus police on Tuesday, which said that the "actions of those charged included general fighting behavior, specifically hair pulling and striking a victim in the face with a hand." It did not elaborate and school spokesman Greg Trevor said Tuesday that no other details about the charges were available.

Leonte Carroo, who is 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, was suspended indefinitely from the football team but remains a student at Rutgers. He is free on $1,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Piscataway Municipal Court on Oct. 1.

Peter Gilbreth, Leonte Carroo's attorney, said he is not representing any of those charged Tuesday and does not believe they have lawyers. …

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