Vikings Star Adrian Peterson Indicted on Felony Charge of Injury to a Child
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (CNN)-
Former NFL MVP Adrian Peterson has been indicted on a felony charge of injury to a child, a Texas sheriff’s lieutenant said Friday.
Montgomery County, Texas, Sheriff’s office entered a warrant for Peterson’s arrest following the indictment, which was issued Thursday, according to sheriff’s Lt. Brady Fitzgerald.
While the sheriff’s office didn’t offer more details, Peterson’s lawyer said the “charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son.”
“Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son,” the attorney, Rusty Hardin, said. “He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas.”
The athlete wasn’t in custody in the county jail as of Friday afternoon, and Hardin didn’t specify where Peterson was or whether he might turn himself in.
The lawyer did claim, however, that his client “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,” Hardin said. “It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”
Right after news broke of the indictment, the Vikings released a statement saying they were “in the process of gathering information regarding the legal situation.”
The team came back a short time later to announce that its ace running back has been deactivated for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.
The alleged criminal offense took place in Montgomery County, which is north of Houston.
Peterson himself grew up in Palestine, Texas, which is 150 miles north of Houston and 100 miles southeast of Dallas.
A running back for the Vikings since 2007, he rushed for 75 yards in his team’s season-opening 34-6 rout of the St. Louis Rams.
In 2012, he was named the league’s most valuable player when he rushed for 2,097 yards, just nine yards short of the single-season mark, the NFL said.
Peterson, 29, lost a 2-year-old son last year who was living with his mother in South Dakota, and her boyfriend, Joseph Robert Patterson, was charged with murder. Patterson has denied the charge and said the boy choked on strawberry fruit snacks, the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, reported.
He also was indicted for an alleged attack on the boy’s mother and pleaded not guilty to those charges in July, the Argus Leader reported.