SAN JOSE -- San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver pleaded not guilty Friday to misdemeanor hit-and-run and felony possession of brass knuckles charges in Santa Clara County Superior Court.
Judge Shelyna Brown set Culliver's next hearing for May 14.
Culliver will not have to appear again until his preliminary hearing, in which a judge determines if the evidence is sufficient to warrant a trial.
Culliver and his attorney, Josh Bentley, left the Hall of Justice through a side door, evading cameras. Culliver sported a modified, close-shaven mohawk as well as a navy suit and black suede loafers with bright blue and red argyle socks.
San Jose police arrested Culliver on March 28 on suspicion of hit-and-run driving and other charges after authorities say he struck a bicyclist, fled the scene and rammed a witness' vehicle before being blocked from leaving until officers arrived.
At the time of his arrest, Culliver, who made national headlines at last year's Super Bowl for anti-gay comments for which he later apologized, was found to be in possession of brass knuckles, police said.
Brown didn't come on the bench until after 2 p.m., giving the packed courtroom gallery more than half an hour to gape at the football star.
Bianca Orozco, 20, among those in the gallery, was wearing a bright red 49ers jersey, though not with Culliver's uniform number. Instead, she was wearing number 17, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins' number.
Still, Orozco, was quick to say she loves the entire team. Her hopes of scoring an autograph from Culliver were dashed when he and his lawyer ducked out a side door to avoid the crowd.
Despite her own interest in Culliver, Orozco expressed sympathy for him being caught up in the glare.
"Everybody gets caught up in different situations," she said, declining to say why she was in court herself. "He's a player, but he's human. He shouldn't get treated this way with the media all up in his face."
Even so, Orozco added Culliver should be punished if he is guilty.
Culliver is one of several 49ers to be caught up with police matters.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Thursday denied wrongdoing through his Twitter account in response an April 1 incident with a woman at a Miami apartment that police are investigating as suspicious.
Linebacker Aldon Smith pleaded not guilty in November to three felony counts of possessing illegal assault rifles after he was arrested on the gun charges and a separate misdemeanor drunken-driving charge.
Sheriff's deputies said they found the guns shortly after a June 2012 party at Smith's San Jose home, which ended with the athlete being stabbed and two partygoers wounded by gunfire from gang members who crashed the get-together.
Contact Tracey Kaplan at 408-278-3482 and follow her at Twitter.com/tkaplanreport.