Son of Adrian Peterson Dies After Beating by Boyfriend of Mother

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( — October 12, 2013) Sioux Falls, SD — As released by the Sioux Falls police department, the toddler died “from injuries sustained during the aggravated assault Wednesday.” The department was withholding the child’s name but the Associated Press reported that a person “with knowledge of the situation” had confirmed it was Peterson’s son.


Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, was arrested Thursday night and has been charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery of an infant, TMZ reported. The arrest was made after police and paramedics were called to an apartment at 5:43 p.m. Wednesday and found the 2-year-old victim with injuries “consistent with abuse.”


Patterson is being held on $750,000 cash bond and prosecutors are considering filing additional charges light of the boy’s death.


Patterson had reported that a 2-year-old was choking in his Sioux Falls apartment, police spokesman Sam Clemens said. Officers arrived to find the toddler unresponsive was rushed to a nearby hospital.


The child had suffered injuries to his head consistent with abuse, according to Clemens. Police said Patterson, whom they described as the boyfriend of the injured child’s mother, was the only other person in the residence at the time.


Clemens added that the 2-year-old’s mother is not under investigation.


Patterson was arrested Thursday night, said Lincoln County, South Dakota, State’s Attorney Tom Wollman. Patterson had been given suspended sentences a year ago for simple domestic assault and violation of a domestic abuse bond, both misdemeanors.


Adrian Peterson spoke with reporters about an hour after the time of death stating “I will be playing Sunday, without a doubt.” It was unclear at the time if Peterson knew of his son’s death.


The 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player himself did not elaborate on what happened when addressing reporters but did acknowledge that he was dealing with “a private matter,” adding that he still plans to play in Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.


“I will ask you all to please just respect my privacy,” Peterson said.


Later Friday, after news of the boy’s death spread, Peterson thanked his family, fans and even fans of other NFL teams for their support.


He tweeted: “The NFL is a fraternity of brothers and I am thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players.” In another tweet he added “God Bless everyone and thank u so much.”


As Twitter heated up, the loudest voice LeBron James expressed the sorrow he felt, as a young father himself, while offering support to his friend.


“So Damn sad man!” tweeted James. “Makes no sense at all. Innocent kid with dreams gets taking away by a coward with no dreams at all! Smh #SickForAP.”


The tot was apparently a “secret” child, according to media reports. Peterson was not sure the child was his until recently.


Peterson, who is not married, has another son about the same age named Adrian Peterson Jr., and a daughter, Adeja, with a different woman.


Earlier Friday, Peterson was on the field for stretching with the Vikings. He left for the locker room briefly during special teams’ drills, which he doesn’t participate in, and returned later.