Kahari Beaufort, an East Hartford guard and one of Connecticut’s best boys basketball college prospects, has been arrested in connection with a mobile phone robbery, the Journal-Inquirer of Manchester reported Thursday.
The 18-year old Beaufort, a 6-foot-4 guard who has received scholarship offers from five of Division I college basketball schools, including Providence and Miami (Fla.), was charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree larceny, criminal liability for second-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit second-degree robbery.
He was arraigned Wednesday at Manchster Superior Court. Bail was set at $60,000. He is being held at Hartford Correctional Center. A second court date is April 10.
Beaufort missed the team’s Class LL first-round tournament game, a 48-41 victory over Xavier. East Hartford plays at Fairfield Prep in the second round tonight.
The incident occurred Feb. 12, when East Hartford Police responded to a robbery call at a Chinese restaurant and arrived to a man holding a 16-year old at gunpoint.
According to the Journal-Inquirer citing a police report, the man, who had advertised his iPhone on Craigslist, said he came to meet a potential buyer at the restaurant. Two males arrived. One took the man’s phone while the other held the door open.
The man said he chased the two males and the one who stole the phone, later identified as the 16-year-old, fell to the ground. The man told police he used his licensed handgun to detain the teen until officers arrived.
He said the teen threw and broke the cellphone, while the other male got away. The man’s girlfriend said she saw the two males running from the store toward a car in the parking lot.
She said she tried to cut off the car but it drove away in reverse. She later saw that her boyfriend had stopped one of the males, she told police.
The teen identified Beaufort and another 16-year-old as also being involved. He said the other 16-year-old went inside with him, while Beaufort drove them to the scene and arranged the robbery.
Beaufort, according to the report, met with police the following day and admitted to being the driver at the scene because he was looking to buy the phone, but denied any knowledge of the robbery attempt.
Police were skeptical of Beaufort’s story, however, because Beaufort remained in the vehicle and didn’t give the two teens any money to buy the phone.
Update: An original version of this post stated that according to East Hartford statistics on MaxPreps, Beaufort had missed the last five games. The statement is inaccurate and has been removed. Team has not entered statistics since Feb. 15.