Rutgers cornerbacks Chris Long and Malachi Melton have been suspended and arrested ahead of the team’s game against the No. 19 Michigan Wolverines. The reason for their arrest and suspension is because of their involvement in an incident involving a paintball gun head coach Greg Schiano announced on Tuesday.
“I was informed that Chris Long and Malachi Melton were taken into police custody early this morning as a result of an incident involving a paintball gun,” Schiano said in a statement. “Both players have been suspended immediately.”
Both Melton and Long have been charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose for the incident that took place on Monday. The two players were taken into custody, according to court records obtained by NJ Advance Media.
According to the police report done by campus police, Long and Melton shot at three students in a drive-by Monday night.
“On Monday, September 20, 2021, at approximately 10:00 PM, the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) responded to the area of Livingston Campus in the township of Piscataway for the report of three student victims that were struck with paintballs discharged from a motor vehicle,” Rutgers police chief Kenneth Cop said in a statement provided to NJ Advance Media. “The three victims sustained minor injuries and declined further medical attention on scene. An investigation completed by the RUPD resulted in the arrest of two male suspects on September 21, 2021.”
Melton has started all three games for the Scarlet Knights this season. The sophomore defensive back has recorded two interceptions, including one for a touchdown, a blocked punt, a fumble recovery, and eight tackles this season. He played so well that coach Schiano mentioned him during the post-game press conference after the Syracuse victory.
“We sure are blessed to have [Melton],” Schiano said after the team’s 17-7 win over Syracuse in Week 2. “I really think he is a very good corner and he is getting better every day. He is still a young guy. What’s he played, 12 college games? It is the equivalent of one season. I think he can really become a great one if he just continues to work the way he is.”
Long has been a backup this season and hasn’t recorded any significant stats. The Scarlet Knights are 3-0 for the first time since 2012 coming into their game vs. Michigan.