A former Rutgers football walk-on player was charged with an attempted double murder after university officials followed protocol and reported concerns to law enforcement, according to five individuals with knowledge of the situation.
Izaia Bullock, 22, was charged with two counts of first-degree attempted murder and two counts of first-degree conspiracy to commit murder Tuesday after he “initiated a plot to murder the family members of an acquaintance,” the previous day, according to a statement from Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey and Rutgers Police Chief Kenneth Cop.
Rutgers coach Chris Ash has refused comment.
According to the five people either inside the Rutgers football program or close to Bullock, who were all granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, Bullock was distraught after a breakup with a girlfriend following a lengthy relationship. He made comments construed as threats toward the woman’s family.
The targets were not named by police, but a prosecutor’s spokeswoman said they were not injured and are not associated with Rutgers.
Who is Izaia Bullock?
Bullock, a linebacker from Linden, walked on to the Rutgers team in 2017 after playing for the Gattaca Football Club, a private junior college team, while attending Middlesex County College.
According to those who spoke to NJ Advance Media, this is how events unfolded:
Bullock confided in the Rutgers coaching staff about his struggles with the breakup and missed a recent practice to deal with the issue. The coaching staff directed him to a university counselor, whom he met with for 90 minutes on Monday. Bullock then made alarming comments to an unnamed teammate following that session.
The teammate reported what Bullock had said to a strength coach, who then followed mandatory protocol and informed a superior. The information was eventually given to Rutgers police on Monday.
Bullock was arrested on Monday, according to court records, with a complaint being issued Tuesday. The arrest was then announced early Tuesday evening, and Bullock was dismissed from the program shortly after.
Bullock will have a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Middlesex County Court.
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