Adrian Peterson Indicted for Child Abuse

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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was reportedly indicted on Friday for reckless or negligent injury to a child in North Montgomery County, Texas. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. Peterson, who has been named First-Team All-Pro three times and has played in six Pro Bowls, missed team practice Thursday. Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer said it was for a "veteran's day." Peterson’s attorney, Rustin Hardin, released a statement Friday afternoon that acknowledged the indictment and Peterson's use of a switch to discipline his 4-year-old son, which left cuts and bruises on the boy's legs, back, buttocks, ankles, scrotum, and hands. "Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son," Hardin said. "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 the beginning. It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury."

According to police reports, the child told authorities that “Daddy Peterson hit me on my face” and was worried that Peterson would punch him in the face if he reported the beating to authorities. The child also said that he had been hit by a belt, that “there are a lot of belts in Daddy’s closet,” and that Peterson put leaves in his mouth when he was being hit. The child told his mother that Peterson “likes belts and switches” and “has a whooping room.”

Another of Peterson's sons, 2-year-old son Tyrese, was killed last year, allegedly by his mother's live-in boyfriend at the time, Joseph Robert Patterson. Patterson was freed on bail last October but arrested again in June on kidnapping and assault charges against Tyrese's mother. Patterson still faces child abuse and murder charges for the boy's death. Peterson has said that he learned only two months prior to the boy's death that he was his father and had planned on visiting to meet him.