In the latest high-profile case of an NFL player facing serious allegations of violent abuse, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson turned himself in to authorities in Texas early Saturday for charges of negligent injury of a child after “whooping” his four-year-old son with a tree branch. The 29-year-old football star was seen smiling in the booking photo (above) and he still seems to remain confident he did nothing wrong, even after graphic images of his son’s injuries surfaced online earlier this week:
Peterson was reportedly booked just after 1 AM and released a half hour later on $15,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Montgomery County court on September 17.
“To be honest with you, I feel very confident with my actions because I know my intent,” Peterson told authorities. He explained that the “whoopings” he administered were no different from those he received as a child and that he would never “eliminate whooping my kids . . . because I know how being spanked has helped me in my life.”
Here’s a video report on Peterson’s booking from KHOU11:
The only regret Adrian has shown throughout the process is that he claims he was unaware that the “tip of the switch and the ridges of the switch were wrapping around [the child’s] legs.” According to the police report, Peterson also texted the child’s mother later to say that he “felt so bad” because the branch at one point struck the boy’s testicles. “Got him in the nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed!” the text read.
After the indictment Peterson shared this message on Twitter with a text graphic:
People understand that if you are on God’s course and suppose to have that position and man decides to remove you know that God will remove everyone to place you rightfully! You matter! Its your season! Weapons may form but won’t prosper! God has you covered don’t stress or worry!
Adrian Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, issued this statement following the indictment:
This indictment follows Adrian’s full cooperation with authorities who have been looking into this matter. Adrian is a loving father who used his judgement 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.
^ Adrian Peterson had a similar smile for his mug shot photo back in 2012 after an alleged drunken altercation with a police officer.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings have suspended Peterson for this Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots. And as if Peterson and fellow NFL star Ray Rice’s recent negative headlines weren’t bad enough, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White somehow made it worse with his tweet making light of the arrest and lamenting the suspension of Peterson because of the impact on his fantasy football team:
Jesus help us indeed (ht @Brosner85) #AdrianPeterson: https://t.co/ydIH4ylEoY pic.twitter.com/Wlqaa3bdIC
— Neetzan Zimmerman (@neetzan) September 13, 2014
After an apparent backlash, Roddy was quick to retract his swagger:
I should not have made light of a very serious situation. I understand the strong feelings about this issue and i shouldn't have said that
— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) September 13, 2014
Top Adrian Peterson mug shot photo: Montgomery County / Splash News