Mikey Russell Is Charged

Mike Russell, a gifted athlete with a prior criminal record, was arrested early Sunday morning by Worcester, Mass., police. He is shown here at point guard for the Bonackers during the 2007-08 season. Abbey Faulhaber

    Mike Russell, 22, a former East Hampton High School star athlete who led the varsity basketball team to one of its most successful seasons ever in 2008, was arrested in Worcester, Mass., early Monday after allegedly taking part in a home invasion.
    Worcester police said Mr. Russell, a junior at Becker College in that city, was one of three masked men who pushed their way at about 1 a.m. into an apartment occupied by four 20-year-old Worcester Polytechnic Institute students. One of the three was reportedly carrying a gun.
    The trio, demanding money, began to separate the victims, forcing two to lie down and taking the other two to another room, police said. One young man fought back, struggling with Mr. Russell and pulling his mask off, reportedly recognizing him, according to police. Mr. Russell was said to have fled, along with the other two men, driving off in a dark-colored car.
    After speaking with the victims, Worcester detectives contacted Becker College police. At 4:30 a.m., detectives knocked on Mr. Russell’s dormitory door and placed him under arrest after a brief conversation. He had played basketball for the college the afternoon before, scoring a team-high 19 points as the Becker College Hawks lost to Newbury College, 61-56.
    Known here as Mikey, Mr. Russell, playing point guard, led the Bonackers, along with Marcus Edwards, to a 24-2 record, winning the Long Island Class A championship. Newsday named him Long Island’s player of the year for that season.
    But even while in high school Mr. Russell had several brushes with the law, first as a juvenile, later as an adult. His most recent arrest in East Hampton was in January 2012, following a prolonged New Year’s Eve brawl outside East Hampton Bowl.
    Becker is at least the third college he has attended, with four months served in the county jail interrupting his studies.