Adrian Peterson's son in critical condition

2:45 PM, Oct 11, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • Adrian Peterson at Vikings practice on October 11, 2013
  • Adrian Peterson at Vikings practice on October 11, 2013

SIOUX FALLS - A 2-year-old son of Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson is in critical condition in a Sioux Falls, S.D. hospital, the victim of alleged abuse.

Peterson's father Nelson confirmed Friday afternoon that the child is Adrian Peterson's. In a media briefing earlier Friday, Sioux Falls police declined to confirm if the child was the running back's son.

Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, has been charged with aggravated assault and aggravated assault on an infant in Lincoln County for harming a 2-year-old boy who was in his care.

While speaking to the media after practice on Friday, Adrian Peterson declined to deny or confirm if the child was his son. He said this was a "private matter" and asked the media to respect his privacy.

He did confirm that he would be playing in Sunday's game "without a doubt."

The child was alone in Patterson's home at Platinum Valley Apartments, where he'd recently moved with his mother. Patterson called 911 to report a choking on Wednesday evening, but Lt. Blaine Larsen of the Sioux Falls Police Department said it became clear at the hospital that the boy's injuries were not accidental.

Sioux Falls police said the incident was initially reported as a medical emergency.

"As officers and first responders got there, they found child was unresponsive and he was taken to the hospital," Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens told USA TODAY Sports on Friday. "So they ended up calling police about that or letting them know. We had detectives talk to quite a few people to try to figure out what happened. What they ended up finding was that when the injuries happened there was one person with that child, and that person was Joseph Patterson."

Clemens said the child remains hospitalized in critical condition.

"The injuries they found were head injuries," Clemens said. "It was obvious to medical staff that abuse had taken place and that those injuries weren't accidental."

Clemens said police believe the child's mother was "gone for a short time, and that's when we believe the injury occurred."

In the aftermath of Patterson's latest arrest, the Lincoln County prosecutor's office has filed motions to order Patterson to serve sentences that had been suspended in two prior cases related to assault of another adult female and juvenile male, and Patterson's subsequent violation of a protection order.

Court records show that Patterson has a son with another Sioux Falls woman, and also show that the mother had asked for protection orders twice, claiming he'd choked and punched her, threatened her with a knife and held her in the bedroom against her will.

The mother chose not to pursue permanent protection orders, which ultimately were dropped voluntarily in 2010 and 2011.

In 2012, Patterson was charged with simple assault against the mother, however, and was ordered to undergo family violence training and to stay away from her until completing it.

Patterson's child lives with his mother, who declined to comment Friday morning when reached by The Argus Leader.

Another woman applied for a protection order against Patterson in 2004 in Jackson County, where he attended high school.

Patterson was scheduled to appear in court today in Lincoln County.


(Copyright 2013 by USA Today. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

Most Watched Videos