Three men arrested for the 2015 armed robbery of former Knicks player

Three more suspects have been charged in the 2015 violent robbery of former Knicks player Cleanthony Early, according to court documents.
Photo by Carlos Osorio / AP
By Gina Martinez

Three more suspects have been charged in the 2015 violent robbery of former Knicks player Cleanthony Early outside a club in Maspeth, according to court documents filed Brooklyn federal court.

John Antney, 26, DaShawn Tejada, 26, and Shaqueel Walker, 25, were charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery and using firearms during crimes of violence, the acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District said in court papers. If convicted, they face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison.

Police already had arrested 23-year-old Delvon Dowling in connection with the Early case. In April, Dowling pleaded guilty to a charge of accessory after the fact, but the facts about his involvement were blacked out in the court


According to a detention memo filed by Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde, in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, 2015, the three defendants allegedly traveled in three separate cars to CityScapes strip club in Maspeth. Once in the strip club, the defendants were told a professional basketball player was inside and waited in their parked vehicles until Early left the club with his girlfriend and got into an Uber, the prosecutor said. The three defendants followed the Uber and boxed in the car, forcing it to stop in the middle of the road, the memo said.

The three defendants then allegedly ordered Early, his girlfriend and the Uber driver out of the car at gunpoint and demanded that Early and the driver hand over all their possessions, the court document said. Early complied and handed over his jewelry and cell phones to the defendants. After giving up his jewelry, Tejada allegedly shot Early in the leg, the memo said. After the shooting, all three defendants fled the scene.

In requesting that the defendants be permanently detained in the case, Rohde said the trio had a history of violent robberies. The same night of Early’s robbery, the three defendants allegedly robbed a Queens barbershop at gunpoint, according to the document Earlier that month, the three are suspected of engaging in an armed robbery of a man sitting in his parked car outside a Manhattan nightclub, the memo said.

Antney, Tejada and Walker were arrested April 27. According to the court papers, Antney was convicted of attempted burglary in the second degree in 2012 and was out on parole at the time of the Early incident. Tejada has two cases pending in Kings County Supreme Court, both of which involved the discharge of a firearm.

Walker has no prior criminal convictions, but has a bench warrant in Carbon County, Pa., for failing to appear to face charges of possession of burglary tools, the court document said.

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmartinez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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