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More trouble for Raiders' Darrell Russell
DUI arrest for suspended lineman who is awaiting sex crime trial

Charlie Goodyear, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

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Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Darrell Russell, serving a one-year drug suspension and facing sex crime charges, was arrested in Nevada on suspicion of drunken driving after leaving a well-known brothel.

Russell, 26, was stopped shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday for driving his 1997 Acura sedan 60 mph in a 35 mph zone on Highway 50 in a residential area of Carson City.

The two-time Pro Bowl player, who has been charged in the East Bay with drugging a Sunnyvale woman and filming two friends raping her, posted $1,205 bail for the DUI arrest.

Then he returned to the Moonlight Bunny Ranch brothel, in a town east of Carson City where prostitution is legal, the owner said Monday.

Brothel owner Dennis Hof first spotted the beefy NFL player at the bar around 4:30 a.m. He said Russell declined his offer of a free drink, saying he had already consumed one drink.

"The girls were kidding him (about sex crime charges filed against him in Alameda County)," Hof said. "They were saying, 'Darrell, if you were at the Bunny Ranch, you wouldn't be out on a million dollar bond.' "

Russell is awaiting a court hearing next month to determine whether he will be tried on charges of drugging a woman at a San Francisco nightclub in January, then using a video camera to film two friends sexually assaulting her.

Hof said Russell left the brothel around 5 a.m., after declining the drink. "I don't believe this guy was drunk at all. The guy's as big as a condominium. It would take a dozen drinks to get this guy drunk."

But Nevada authorities said Russell failed a field-sobriety test.

"He showed signs of intoxication and was arrested for first-offense DUI," said Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Patrick McGill.

McGill said the imposing Russell was taken into custody by one officer without incident.

"I think that he was cooperative until the handcuffs got on," McGill said. "Darrell's a big guy. I don't think he was really pleased that he was going to jail."

After posting bail, Russell returned to the brothel, Hof said. He went upstairs and spent about an hour with a "pretty blonde" and behaved "like a perfect gentleman," Hof said.

In 1999, the Bunny Ranch dedicated the "Jesse (The Body) Ventura Suite" after the pro wrestler-turned Minnesota governor who once patronized the place.

It also hosted a birthday party for John Wayne Bobbitt, who gained notoriety in 1993 when his penis was severed by his wife and successfully reattached. Bobbitt failed to attend the event.

Russell was suspended from the Raiders last year after violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy for the second time.

E-mail Charlie Goodyear at cgoodyear@sfchronicle.com.

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