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Adrian Peterson Indicted in Child Abuse Case, Deactivated for Sunday’s Game

Dilip Vishwanat, Getty Images

UPDATE: Peterson turned himself in to authorities in Montgomery County, Texas late last night, and was subsequently released on $15,000 bail.

Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson was indicted on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child by a Montgomery County, Texas grand jury. The case stems from an incident where Peterson used a switch to discipline the child involved.

Rusty Hardin, Peterson’s attorney, issued a statement Friday (via ESPN), saying the following about Peterson’s conduct:

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.

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.

According to a report from Sports Radio 610 in Houston, Peterson “removed the leaves of a tree branch, which he referred to in a police report as ‘a switch’ to strike the child.”

CBS Houston reports that the branch was used as a form of punishment earlier this year, which led to multiple injuries to the child that included cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands. Police interview information states that Peterson, who referred to the conduct as a “whooping”, was administering the discipline after the boy (Peterson’s son) pushed another one of Peterson’s children while playing a video game.

The news has gathered particular attention in light of the uproar over the release of a video of ex-Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punching his then-fiancé Janae Rice.

Deadspin reports that a warrant for Peterson’s arrest has been issued following the indictment.

Multiple reports state that Peterson claims he had no ill intent beyond simply disciplining the child. Those same reports state that Peterson was administering the same type of discipline he was accustomed to while growing up in Texas.

The Vikings released a statement following the news, stating they were gathering information on the situation, and deferred any additional comment to Peterson’s attorney. Later in the evening, the team announced Peterson would be deactivated for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.

Here is one of the photos released of the child after the incident

We will have more on this story as it develops.

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