Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child in Montgomery County, Texas.
Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, issued a statement:
“Adrian Peterson has been informed that he was indicted by a grand jury in Montgomery County, Texas for Injury to a Child. The charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son,” the statement read. “This indictment follows Adrian’s full cooperation with authorities who have been looking into this matter. Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas.
“Adrian has never hidden from what happened. He has cooperated fully with authorities and voluntarily testified before the grand jury for several hours. Adrian will address the charges with the same respect and responsiveness he has brought to this inquiry from its beginning. It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”
The Vikings issued a statement saying they were looking into the matter and deferred further comment to Hardin. A short time after Hardin’s statement, the Vikings announced that Peterson was deactivated for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.
A warrant for his arrest was issued and he was taken into custody around 1 a.m. Saturday in Texas, according to NFL.com. He was released after posting $15,000 bond.
Sports Radio 610 in Houston, which obtained a copy of the police report, says the alleged victim is a 4-year-old son of Peterson’s from Minnesota who was visiting Peterson at his home in Texas in May. When the boy returned to Minnesota, the mother took the boy to a doctor, who then contacted authorities after assessing the injuries to the child.
A “switch” is a “flimsy tree branch” used for disciplining children, according to urbandictionary.com.
Peterson didn’t practice on Thursday afternoon but was at Winter Park at the start of practice and after practice and conducted an interview prior to practice before the charges were public.
He practiced fully on Friday and head coach Mike Zimmer said Peterson was simply given a “veteran day off” on Thursday. Peterson was in the Vikings locker room on Friday shortly after noon.
The charge of child abuse was especially jarring, given the tragedy that unfolded around Peterson last season.
Not long after finding out that he had a 2-year-old son living in South Dakota, Peterson rushed to a hospital there after police said the boy was brutally beaten by his mother’s boyfriend. The boy died, and a 28-year-old man is scheduled for trial next month on second-degree murder charges.
A man who identified himself as Peterson’s uncle, Chris Peterson, answered the door at the running back’s house in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, near Vikings headquarters. He said Peterson was not there and that the family had no comment.
Widely considered the best running back in the league, Peterson has rushed for 10,190 yards and 86 touchdowns in his eight-year career including a 2,097-yard season in 2012 that fell 9 yards short of the all-time record.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Peterson indicted in child injury case
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