Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was booked into jail and released on $15,000 bail early Saturday morning after he was indicted on a felony charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child, ESPN reports.
Peterson reportedly beat his 4-year-old son earlier this year with a small tree branch as a form of punishment, allegedly causing multiple injuries to the child, according to CBS Houston.
During interviews with police, Peterson referred to the incident as a “whooping,” which occurred in Spring, Texas, in May, the news station reports. He said his son had pushed another of Peterson’s children off a motorbike video game. As punishment, Peterson grabbed a tree branch, which he called a “switch,” removed the leaves and struck the child repeatedly, the news station writes.
“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,” CBS Houston writes. “Peterson then texted the boy’s mother, saying that one injury in particular would make her ‘mad at me about his leg. I got kinda good wit the tail end of the switch.’”
The Vikings have deactivated Peterson for Sunday’s game at home against the New England Patriots.
CBS Houston quotes Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, from a statement released this week:
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.
The news comes as the NFL is reeling from another incident of domestic violence involving former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice. Rice was cut from the team this week and indefinitely suspended from the league after an explosive video received by TMZ showed him punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, unconscious in an Atlantic City, N.J., hotel elevator in February. Palmer and Rice are now married.