Friday, November 30, 2012
Hofstra suspends four players
MINEOLA, N.Y. -- Four Hofstra University basketball players were arrested on burglary charges stemming from dormitory room break-ins, police said Friday.
Detectives said the players were charged in six burglaries that occurred between Oct. 4 and Nov. 5, but they suspect there have been numerous other thefts starting at the beginning of the semester.
Nassau County police said the team's coach also reported that he had items stolen, and said an investigation was under way to determine who was responsible. But Hofstra issued a statement late Friday afternoon saying coach Mo Cassara reported his items, which police said included cash, credit cards and computer equipment, were stolen in May, before the accused players were attending the school.
The thefts included laptop computers, cellphones and cash. Nassau County Detective Lt. Raymond Cote said he expected publicity about the arrests to prompt students who may have thought they simply lost laptop computers, iPads and cellphones to now come forward and report the items stolen.
Cote said some of the stolen items were sold on Craigslist and elsewhere, but he estimated that $10,000 worth of equipment had been recovered since the players' arrest on Thursday. Many of the items vanished from common rooms in dormitory suites, where doors were often left unlocked, Cote said.
The arrested players were Kentrell Washington, 18, of Las Vegas; Jimmy Hall, 18, of Brooklyn; Dallas Anglin, 18, of Montclair, N.J.; and Shaquille Stokes, 20, of Manhattan. Each pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday.
Hall, a freshman, is the team's No. 2 scorer. He and Stokes, a sophomore transfer from the University of Hawaii, started in six of the team's seven games this season. Washington and Anglin, both freshmen, have seen regular playing time off the bench. All four players are on athletic scholarships.
In a statement, the university said the four had been suspended from the basketball team, classes, residence halls and facilities, pending the outcome of the case.
Melissa Connolly, Hofstra's vice president of university relations, said the public safety department worked with Nassau County police since the investigation began.
Stokes was charged with five counts of second-degree burglary. Washington was charged with two counts of second-degree burglary. Hall was charged with four counts of second degree burglary. Anglin was charged with one count of second-degree burglary and one count of tampering with physical evidence.
Frank Whelan, an attorney for Washington and Stokes, declined to comment on the allegations. Anglin's attorney did not immediately return a phone message. Hall was represented by an attorney from Legal Aid, which has a policy of not commenting on pending cases.
The team, which competes in the Colonial Athletic Association, is 3-4 this season. It is scheduled to play Southern Methodist University in a home game on Saturday.
Last month, Hofstra suspended two other players, Taran Buie and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel, for violating team rules. The suspensions were for two preseason events and two regular-season games. Hofstra cited student privacy laws in providing no further information in that case.