Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in Texas for "reckless or negligent injury to a child," according to the Fox affiliate in Houston. The indictment was made in Montgomery County.
Child Protective Services confirms to TMZ that they are working on a case involving Peterson and an 11-year-old boy.
More details via Minneapolis' WCCO:
Sports Radio 610 in Houston obtained a draft of the police report which says Peterson admitted that he did, in his words, “whoop” one of his children last May while the boy was visiting him in Houston.
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.”
According to Sports Radio 610: "Peterson’s son had pushed another one of Peterson’s children off of a motorbike video game. As punishment, Peterson grabbed a tree branch -- which he consistently referred to as a 'switch' -- removed the leaves and struck the child repeatedly."
More via Sports Radio 610: Peterson allegedly told the child's mother via text message that he “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh.” Peterson also acknowledged the injury to the child’s scrotum, saying in the text message, “Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, I’m all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!
"“Never do I go overboard!" Peterson continued. "But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”
Meanwhile, police reports tell a different story. Again, details courtesy of Sports Radio 610:
According to police reports, the child, however, had a slightly different story, telling authorities that “Daddy Peterson hit me on my face.” The child also expressed worry that Peterson would punch him in the face if the child reported the incident to authorities. He also said that he had been hit by a belt and that “there are a lot of belts in Daddy’s closet.” He added that Peterson put leaves in his mouth when he was being hit with the switch while his pants were down. The child told his mother that Peterson “likes belts and switches” and “has a whooping room.”
The team released the following statement: "The Vikings are in the process of gathering information regarding the legal situation involving Adrian Peterson. At this time, we will defer further questions to Adrian’s attorney Rusty Hardin."
A short time later, Hardin also released 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. 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.”
Peterson is expected to turn himself in, according to Fox Sports. Peterson missed practice on Thursday, an absence that Vikings coach Mike Zimmer described as a normal day off for the 29-year-old, "Veteran's day," Zimmer said.
There didn't seem to be any indication that charges were pending on Friday. Peterson was back at practice and he was "laughing and joking," according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
By Friday evening, the Vikings had announced that they had deactivated Peterson for Sunday's game against the Patriots.
On Thursday, Peterson was asked about Ray Rice, the former Ravens running back who was suspended indefinitely by commissioner Roger Goodell Monday after a video emerged showing Rice punching his then-fiancee in the face and knocking her unconcious.
Peterson spoke yesterday about Ray Rice: "All I have to say about that is I send my prayers out to Ray and his wife and wish him the best...— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) September 12, 2014
Peterson on Rice CONT... during this time. I wish them the best during this time and tell them to stay strong.''— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) September 12, 2014