Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in Texas in a child injury case and an arrest warrant has been issued, according to multiple media reports. Citing unnamed sources, Mark Berman of MyFOX Houston 26 first reported on Friday that the 2012 NFL MVP had been indicted in a case involving alleged "reckless or negligent injury to a child." ESPN subsequently reported that an arrest warrant had been issued for Peterson, who had practiced with the Vikings earlier on Friday.
Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, later confirmed the indictment and claimed the alleged incident involved disciplining a son, in a statement obtained by Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
“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.”
Citing police reports, Nick Wright of CBS Houston reported that the child involved told authorities that “Daddy Peterson hit me on my face" and that “there are a lot of belts in Daddy’s closet.” According to the CBS Houston, the alleged abuse resulted in cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum.
The team issued a brief statement following the early reports of Peterson's indictment:
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 second statement was later issued, announcing that Peterson would be inactive for the team's second game of the 2014 season:
The Vikings have deactivated Adrian Peterson for this Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
The NFL did not initially respond to a request from The Associated Press for comment on the matter.