Law enforcement sources revealed to CBS Houston on Friday that Adrian Peterson’s indictment on a charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child stemmed from a punishment the Minnesota Vikings running back gave his 4-year-old son.
In an interview with police, Peterson said he “whooped” his son with a tree branch in May after he pushed another one of his sons off a motorbike video game in Spring, Texas. The beating resulted in multiple cuts and bruises on the boy’s lower body and defensive wounds on the child’s hands.
Peterson allegedly texted the boy’s mother upon noticing a particular wound on the child’s leg that he believed would make her mad. He later texted: “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.”
In a police report, however, Peterson’s son gave more information. The boy told authorities, “Daddy Peterson hit me on my face,” and apparently was worried Peterson would punch him in the face if he reported the incident. The child also said he was hit with a belt and that Peterson put leaves in his mouth during the beating. Peterson confirmed that the child’s pants were down while he beat him.
Peterson’s son went to a previously scheduled appointment upon returning to Minnesota with his mother, and a doctor said the injuries were consistent with child abuse.
Peterson acknowledged this incident was more severe than other “whoopings” he has delivered to his children, as he didn’t realize the branch was wrapping around the child’s legs and causing further injury. He said he believed he hit the child 10 or 15 times, but he doesn’t “ever count how many pops I give my kids.”
Peterson has been deactivated for the Vikings’ Sunday game against the New England Patriots.
Photo via Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports Images