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3 Illinois University football players arrested on armed robbery charges

May 12, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
3 Illinois University football players arrested on armed robbery charges

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Three Illinois University football players were taken into custody after they reportedly tried to pass off a robbery at a university dorm as nothing more than a prank.

Darta Lee, Zarrian Holcombe, and Howard Watkins have all been “indefinitely” suspended from the team after police arrested them on home invasion and armed robbery charges, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Offensive linemen Lee and Watkins and tight end Holcombe were arrested after an incident that occurred early Wednesday at Bromley Hall, where Lee and Holcombe both live.

The three suspects went into the hall wearing masks around 3 a.m. and went into a victim’s dorm room, Champaign police spokeswoman LaEisha Meaderds said in an interview with ESPN.

Illinois football players Darta Lee , Howard (Hojo) Watkins, and Zarrian Holcombe were arrested on home invasion and armed robbery charges.

They proceeded to announce the robbery and held what authorities identified as a fake gun but were interrupted when the victim noticed one of their voices. At that moment, the suspect took off his mask and attempted to “make light of the situation,” insisting it was just a prank.

A resident adviser in the dorm heard the disturbance and called the police.

The three Illinois University football players allegedly fled the building with an undisclosed amount of cash before the victim’s statement led to their arrest, Champaign police Lieutenant Dave Shaffer stated.

“These allegations, if true, fail to live up to the standards we expect of our athletes,” head coach Lovie Smith said to NBC Chicago. “We continue to gather information and will take appropriate steps.”

Both Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended from the team for violating the group’s rules. Watkins has also been indefinitely suspended.

The three are set to appear on Thursday in court, where they are expected to be formally charged.

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