ATLANTA — Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown, who had been in the suburban Atlanta area to help celebrate his parents’ anniversary, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and released from jail a few hours later, officials said Monday.
The 28-year-old fifth-year pro was arrested at 4:29 a.m. Saturday, Marietta Police Officer Jennifer Murphy said. Marietta is about 15 miles northwest of Atlanta.
Brown’s mother, Joyce Brown, told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Monday that Brown was visiting his hometown of Cartersville for her and her husband’s 32nd anniversary. She said he had eaten dinner with relatives and then went to a club. She didn’t know the name of the club, but the night was not part of the anniversary celebration.
She said her son was pulled over for failing to use a turn signal, but believes he was targeted because he was driving a high-priced car and is black.
Murphy would not provide details of the arrest and the AP has filed an open records request for the information. Officials at the Smyrna City Jail say Brown posted $1,110 bond and was released hours after his arrest. Cartersville is about 20 miles from Marietta.
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Athletes Behaving Badly
His arrest comes weeks after Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of assaulting a 20-year-old college student in a southern Georgia nightclub on March 5. He has not been charged and denies the accusation.
Brown’s mother said she believes both police and the media unfairly single out football players.
“Just because of who they are, they shouldn’t be pinpointed,” Brown said. “They’re still people, too.”
Brown’s agent, Todd France, did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment. A team spokesman had no comment on the arrest. Brown’s mother said her son had an attorney but wouldn’t give a name.
Team owner Stephen Ross, who is attending NFL meetings in Orlando, Fla., said the organization is unhappy about the recent spate of arrests of its players. Cornerback Will Allen was charged with driving under the influence in Miami Beach, and defensive tackle Tony McDaniel was accused of domestic violence at his home in Davie, both last month.
“It certainly doesn’t make us happy, and it is a concern,” Ross said without specifically talking about Brown. “I think the coaches and (Dolphins football czar) Bill Parcells are disappointed and concerned, and they are addressing it.”
Brown’s season ended early with an injury to his right foot. He was the Dolphins’ leading rusher at the time and was the key player in their wildcat formation before being placed on injured reserve Nov. 18. He had 648 yards rushing on 147 carries and eight touchdowns in 2009 before he was injured. Over his career, he has 4,081 yards rushing and 31 touchdowns.