Charges result in suspension of track pair

Charges result in suspension of track pair

CHAMPAIGN — Two University of Illinois men's track and field athletes have been suspended indefinitely from the team after being charged with residential burglary.

Sophomore Shujaa Benson and junior transfer Vanier Joseph were charged Friday with stealing from rooms in a UI dormitory.

A third man charged in the case, Justin Boone, is a former Illini track and field athlete. Boone was suspended last spring for violating team rules and did not return to the team this school year.

According to UI Police Lt. Roy Acree, Joseph and Boone were arrested inside Forbes Hall about 4:20 a.m. Thursday after police were called to the dorm by a resident who woke to see a man taking cash out of his wallet. Statements by Joseph and Boone, as well as video surveillance tape, led to the arrest of Benson a few hours later.

As freshmen, Benson and Boone each saw action for the Illini during the 2011 indoor and outdoor seasons. Benson competed in the sprints, hurdles and long jump, Boone in the long and triple jumps.

Before transferring to the UI, Joseph attended Eastern Michigan University for two years, where he competed on the track team as a sprinter/hurdler. He was a 2011 second-team indoor All-American in the 60-meter hurdles.