Adrian Peterson Indicted on Child Injury Charge

by 2:08 PM PDT, September 12, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

In more trouble for the NFL, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in Texas for reckless or negligent injury to a child.

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Peterson, who just last year lost his two-year-old son allegedly at the hands of the child's mother's boyfriend, was indicted in Montgomery County, Texas, ET has learned.

Houston's CBS affiliate reports that Peterson allegedly struck his four-year-old son repeatedly with a tree branch (called a "switch") after the child pushed one of Peterson's other children off of a motorbike video game.

The "whooping" -- as Peterson referred to it according to the news source -- allegedly left the child with cuts and bruises to his back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, as well as defensive wounds to his hands.

Peterson reportedly texted the child's mother after the incident, writing, "[I] felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh."

He later went on to acknowledge injuries to the child's scrotum, writing, "Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I'm all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!"

Peterson reportedly went on to text, "Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don't play no games when it comes to acting right."

When questioned, the child reportedly told authorities, "Daddy Peterson hit me on my face," and also said that Peterson put leaves in his mouth while delivering the spanking.

"Anytime I spank my kids, I talk to them before, let them know what they did, and of course after," Peterson reportedly told authorities. "To be honest with you, I feel very confident with my actions because I know my intent."

Peterson reportedly described the welts on his child's body as the result of a "normal whooping."

According to the news source, a doctor saw the injuries to be consistent with child abuse when the mother took the child to a previously scheduled appointment.

Following this news, the Vikings have announced that Peterson will be deactivated for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.

Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, gave the following statement to ET:

"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."

The NFL has been consumed recently with the scandal surrounding Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was filmed knocking his then-fiancee unconscious in an elevator. Since the video was made public, Rice has been terminated by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended by the NFL indefinitely, but controversy surrounds what the NFL knew and when. See the video below for Terry Crews' comments on the Ray Rice controversy.