Vikings running back Adrian Peterson indicted for child injury
UPDATE: Adrian Peterson has been released from jail after being booked on charges of child injury, reports USA Today. Peterson turned himself in early Saturday. His bond was set at $15,000.
According to MyFOXHouston, the charges are for "reckless or negligent injury to a child."
The Vikings deactivated Peterson for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.
Peterson's attorney Rusty Hardin released the following 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. 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.”
Hardin told ESPN's Ben Goessling in a text that Peterson "certainly will" surrender to authorities.
CBS Houston obtained a draft of the police report where Peterson admitted that he did “whoop” one of his children last May while the boy was visiting him in Houston. The boy's mother took him to a doctor when he returned to Minnesota.
According to the police report, Peterson hit the four-year-old boy with a tree branch after removing all the leaves. The doctor told investigators that the boy had "a number of lacerations on his thighs, along with bruise-like marks on his lower back and buttocks and cuts on his hand."
The doctor also reportedly described some of the marks as open wounds and termed it “child abuse.” Another person who examined the boy called the cuts “extensive.”
The boy was interviewed by authorities, who reportedly told them "Daddy Peterson hit me on my face." He also told them he had been hit by a belt and that “there are a lot of belts in Daddy’s closet.”
The punishment happened after the boy pushed another one of Peterson’s children off of a motorbike video game, according to the police report.
The Vikings released a statement Friday saying they are "in the process of gathering information regarding the legal situation involving Adrian Peterson" and defer any questions to Hardin at this time.
According to Glazer, Peterson testified in front of a grand jury on Aug. 21. He reportedly told investigators that it was a "normal spanking" and not excessive. A grand jury decided not to indict him on Sept. 4 before he was indicted by a second grand jury a week later.
Statement from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department:
"An unknown police department called the City of Houston police department with a complaint of child endangerment, and Houston referred it to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office where the alleged case occurred. Montgomery County investigated a complaint of “injury to a child” and referred the case to the district attorney. The DA then handed the case to the Grand Jury."
Reckless injury to a child carries a 2 to 10 year prison sentence in TX. In a plea deal, can be reduced to a lesser charge. #AdrianPeterson— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) September 12, 2014
According to Fox 26, Peterson has not yet been arrested.
Peterson did not practice Thursday, but was at the team facility watching the workout, according to The Pioneer Press. Peterson was at practice Friday, which ended roughly three hours before news of the indictment broke.
Peterson is in his ninth season in the NFL. He is a six-time Pro Bowl selection and has led the NFL in rushing yards twice. He won the AP's Most Valuable Player award in 2012. He is one of three active NFL players with over 10,000 rushing yards.
- Dan Gartland and Molly Geary