Update: September 13, 9 am – Adrian Peterson has been booked and released following his indictment for negligent injury to a child charges.
Peterson was booked into the Montgomery County Texas Jail around 1:15am Saturday morning. He was allowed in through a side entrance, presumably by a Montgomery County Sheriffs Dept employee.
Peterson posted $15,000 bond and posed for a mugshot. The whole process took about 30 minutes. Peterson left the Montgomery County Sheriffs Dept. around 1:50am.
By: Nick Wright
According to law-enforcement sources, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson beat his 4-year-old son with a tree branch as a form of punishment this summer, an incident that allegedly resulted in multiple injuries to the child. According to reports, Peterson has been indicted in Montgomery County, Texas for injury to a child.
The “whooping” – as Peterson put it when interviewed by police – occurred in Spring, Texas, in May. 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.
The beating allegedly resulted in numerous injuries to the child, including cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands. Peterson then texted the boy’s mother, saying that one wound in particular would make her “mad at me about his leg. I got kinda good wit the tail end of the switch.”
Peterson also allegedly said via text message to the child’s mother that he “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh” and also acknowledged the injury to the child’s scrotum in a text message, saying, “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!”
In further text messages, Peterson allegedly said, “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.”
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.”
Peterson, when contacted by police, admitted that he had “whooped” his son on the backside with a switch as a form of punishment, and then, in fact, produced a switch similar to the one with which he hit the child. Peterson also admitted that he administered two different “whoopings” to his son during the visit to Texas, the other being a punishment for the 4-year-old scratching the face of a 5-year-old.
In an interview with Houston police, Peterson was very matter-of-fact and calm about the incident, appearing to believe he had done nothing wrong and reiterating how much he cared about his son and only used “whoopings” or “spankings” as a last resort. He offered up information that the police didn’t have and was incredulous when asked if some of the numerous wounds and marks on the child were from an extension cord, saying, “Oh, no, I’d never hit my child with an extension cord. I remember how it feels to get whooped with an extension cord. I’d never do that.”
Peterson also said, “Anytime I spank my kids, I talk to them before, let them know what they did, and of course after.” Peterson also expressed regret that his son did not cry – because then, Peterson said, he would have known that the switch was doing more damage than intended. He didn’t realize the “tip of the switch and the ridges of the switch were wrapping around [the child’s] legs.” Peterson also acknowledged that this was administered directly to the child’s skin and with the child’s pants pulled down.
Peterson later told police that the marks on his son’s buttocks were similar to the marks any of his other children get when he “spanks them with a switch,” but that the mark on the child’s leg from when the switch “wrapped around his thigh” was more severe than anything he had ever done in the past.
Peterson said he knew that his son had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for when he returned home and that the doctor would discover the injuries. Peterson added that if he felt like he was “really wrong for what I did, or had any ill intent, there’s no way I would have let him get on that plane.” He went on to say, “I have nothing to hide, but I also understand when a child has marks like that on his leg, they have to report that.”
When Peterson was asked how he felt about the incident, he said, “To be honest with you, I feel very confident with my actions because I know my intent.” He also described the incident as a “normal whooping” in regards to the “welps” on the child’s buttocks, but that he felt bad immediately when he saw the injuries on the child’s legs. Peterson estimated he “swatted” his son “10 to 15” times, but he’s not sure because he doesn’t “ever count how many pops I give my kids.”
Peterson went on to reiterate again how much he loves all his kids, and only “whoops” them because he wants them to do right. Toward the end of the interview, Peterson said he would reconsider using switches in the future, but said he would never “eliminate whooping my kids . . . because I know how being spanked has helped me in my life.”
After the child returned home to Minnesota in late May, the mother took the son to his previously scheduled doctor appointment and the doctor that examined the child said the injuries were consistent with child abuse and that it appeared the child had injuries from one incident involving a “switch” and another incident possibly involving a cord.
Authorities in Minnesota referred the case to the Houston Police Department to investigate. During the investigation, authorities determined that the incident did not take place on Woodway Drive in Houston, as originally believed, but instead in Spring, Texas, which is in the Montgomery County jurisdiction.
According to a law-enforcement source, Peterson was indicted Friday in Montgomery County, Texas, but has not yet been arrested.
The NFL recently unveiled a domestic-violence policy, which stipulates a six-game suspension for a first offense but allows for steeper penalties if children are involved.
As of publication, Peterson is not under arrest and is expected to play for the Vikings this weekend when they host the Patriots. (UPDATE: Shortly after publication of this story the Vikings deactivated Peterson for Sunday’s game against the Patriots.)
The Montgomery County Sheriff Office released the following statement:
On Thursday, September 11, 2014, a Montgomery County Grand Jury, “true billed”, Adrian Lewis Peterson on a charge of injury to a child. On today’s date at 2:47 PM, a warrant was issued and entered for the arrest of Adrian Peterson for that charge.
Since the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has referred the case to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and the investigation has led to a, “true bill”, on a criminal offense, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office will not discuss details in reference to the case or investigation.
At the time of this release, Adrian Peterson is not in custody at the Montgomery County Jail and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office does not have any details in the arrest of Adrian Peterson.
Peterson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin released a statement saying:
“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.”
Listen to Nick Wright Break the Story with Sean Pendergast and Ted Johnson on The Triple Threat