Braswell’s son, two players facing commercial burglary charges

Alonso Tacanga

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Deon Tresvant, the Matadors’ leading scorer, and Dallas Rutherford, a freshman reserve, have been accused of stealing more than $6,600 in merchandise from a Porter Ranch Best Buy on New Year’s Day.

Things don’t end there. The son of CSUN Head Coach Bobby Braswell, Jeffrey Braswell, allegedly is involved as well (along with a fourth person, actor Phannuel Gbewonyo, 28).

‘I have no idea what’s going on with that,’ Tresvant said during a quick telephone conversation on Jan. 6, the day the news broke out. ‘I don’t know anything about that.’

The younger Braswell, who – as of the date of the alleged incident – worked for the store, has been accused of logging into a cash register using the password of an employee who had the holiday off and allowing Tresvant, Rutherford and Gbewonyo to check out items without paying for them. The thefts were discovered when Best Buy officials found a discrepancy at the register.

All four are scheduled to appear at San Fernado Superior Court on Monday. Braswell is charged with one count of second-degree commercial burglary and three felony counts of grand theft over $400. Gbewonyo, Tresvant and Rutherford are charged with one count each of second-degree commercial burglary and grand theft over $400.

Jeffrey Braswell, a CSUN student, was arrested Jan. 3 and released three days later on his own recognizance. His three co-defendants were arrested Jan. 5 and released the same day after posting $20,000 bail each. Beginning with a game against UC Davis on the same day of the latter arrests, Tresvant and Rutherford have been withheld from games ‘until these issues are clarified.’ They have been allowed to practice with the team, though.

‘Obviously, I’m disappointed with the circumstances that have taken place with my son Jeffrey and the allegations regarding Deon (Tresvant) and Dallas (Rutherford),’ Bobby Braswell said in a Jan. 6 statement. ‘At this point, we will allow the judicial process to unfold. As far as my son’s involvement, it is a private matter that my family and support system will deal with.’

Two days later, the coach faced the media at a press conference at the university and officially announced he was behind his players.

‘We will continue to support these young men throughout this process,’ Braswell said.

There is a feeling that at least Tresvant will be back sooner rather than later. The Matador was in attendance at CSUN’s last game at Long Beach State on Saturday and seemed in good spirits while hanging out with team members post-game. Kenny Daniels, the starting small forward, even paid Tresvant respects by pointing at him, who was sitting in the stands, after drilling a 3-pointer near the end of the game the Matadors ended up losing 74-68.

Tresvant, who is from Long Beach, wasn’t in much of a mood to offer his comments on the allegations afterwards, though.

‘I’m tired of talking about it,’ he said.

Meanwhile, another intriguing storyline is the fact that Rutherford is the son of Dudley Rutherford, the pastor of the Shepherd of the Hills church in Porter Ranch, which is the church Bobby Braswell belongs to. His son, Jeffrey, and the younger Rutherford have grown up together, according to Willie Galick, CSUN’s starting forward. Everyone in the CSUN locker room knows the younger Braswell but he hangs out with a select group of people, Galick said. Also, Dallas Rutherford’s sister, Kayla, is a member of the Northridge basketball family as well. She plays on the women’s team.

The Matadors have gone 2-1 without Tresvant and Rutherford. At this point, the earliest they could be back is Jan. 29 at UC Santa Barbara, three days after their court date. They’ll be facing one of their biggest rivals of all time: Best Buy.