SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver has been arrested on suspicion of felony hit and run and reckless driving after he drove a car into a bicyclist and fled, police said.
Culliver was driving a white Ford Mustang just before 10:30 a.m. Friday when he hit the cyclist Friday morning near downtown San Jose, city police spokesman Albert Morales said. The bicyclist wasn’t seriously hurt, he said.
A witness followed the Culliver, 25, who also drove into the car of the witness, Morales said, and that vehicle blocked the suspect’s car until police arrived and arrested Culliver.
After searching the suspect’s car, the authorities found illegal brass knuckles and booked him into Santa Clara County Jail for felony hit and run, felony reckless driving with injury, felony possession of brass knuckles, misdemeanor hit and run and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license.
Morales said he didn’t know the name of Culliver’s attorney.
“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent matter involving Chris Culliver,” San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “We will remain in contact with Chris and the local authorities as we continue to gather the facts regarding this situation. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we will reserve further comment at this time.”
In 2013, Culliver caused controversy by expressing anti-gay sentiments in the lead-up to the Super Bowl.
During Super Bowl media day at the Superdome in New Orleans that year, Culliver responded to questions from comedian Artie Lange by saying he wouldn’t welcome a gay player in the locker room. He also said the 49ers didn’t have any homosexual players and, if they did, those players should leave. He later apologized, facing a large group of Super Bowl media members for nearly an hour.
Culliver underwent sensitivity training as well and began doing outreach work with The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis and suicide intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
“I truly appreciate the staff at the Trevor Project for allowing me to grow and educating me on the issues affecting the LGBTQ community,” Culliver later said in a statement to The Associated Press. “I have learned so much and made some really great friends. I will continue my commitment to the organization and to their youths and stand firm with hope that one day that all individuals regardless of sex, race, or creed will be treated with dignity and respect from all.”
Culliver, a third-round draft pick in 2011 out of South Carolina, made 47 tackles with two interceptions and a forced fumble during the 2012 season while starting six games for the Niners. They lost in the Super Bowl that season to Baltimore.