Perennial Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in Texas for reckless or negligent injury to a child, according to Fox Houston.
Fox Houston’s Isiah Carey reports that the incident stems from an accusation that the 29-year-old Minnesota Vikings player “beat his young son.” NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport reports that Peterson is accused of hitting his son with a switch. And TMZ adds that “Child Protective Services confirms they are working on a case involving Peterson and an 11-year-old boy.”
NFL’s Network’s Albert Breer said he received this 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.
Last year, another of Peterson’s sons was murdered, allegedly by the mother’s live-in boyfriend, Joseph Robert Patterson. Peterson had only learned that he was the boy’s father two months before his death and had been planning to meet him, according to ESPN.
ESPN’s Ben Goessling wrote this August that Peterson said he is now “more careful to cherish his time with the four children who don’t live with him.”
Peterson also has a 3-year-old son with his wife Ashley Brown—the two were married on July 19.
More from the ESPN interview:
The death of his son, Peterson said, served to reinforce the conclusion he had drawn in his mind about, among other things, stability and commitment.
“It’s time for you to really get your life in order,” Peterson recalled telling himself. “When all that stuff came down, it’s more like, ‘Reality check, man.’ It’s time to start walking the way you know you need to instead of straddling the fence—knowingly straddling the fence.
“First and foremost, [it was] getting in alignment what God wanted for me in my life and stop [being promiscuous]. I was pretty much doing what I wanted to do, and I could pretty much do that. [It was] just to get in alignment with God, having a wife and really creating that bond and that life. It was more fulfillment knowing the head man is proud and knowing I’m doing it the right way.”
Peterson, one of the league’s biggest stars, is a six-time Pro Bowl selection and was named the NFL MVP in 2012. ESPN recently reported that he called Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to tell him that he’d like to play for Dallas before his career is over. Peterson was born in Palestine, Texas.
Update, September 12, 6:23 p.m.: WCCO-CBS Minnesota has also confirmed the news of the indictment and released these photos from a police report. CBS reports, though, that a draft of a police report identifies the child as a 4-year-old boy, not an 11-year-old as reported by TMZ.
More from the CBS report:
When the 4-year-old boy returned to Minnesota, his mother took him to a doctor. The police report said the boy told the doctor Peterson had hit him with a branch from a tree.
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 police report says the doctor described some of the marks as open wounds and termed it “child abuse.” Another examiner agreed, calling the cuts “extensive.”
Photographs obtained from the Houston police report showed pictures of the injuries.
Another picture showed Peterson demonstrating the kind of switch he used.
When investigators questioned Peterson, they say he told them he regarded it as a normal spanking and not excessive. A grand jury seated earlier this summer decided not to charge him, but now a second new grand jury has indicted Peterson.