Adrian Peterson's 2-year-old son dies from injuries

9:05 PM, Oct 11, 2013   |    comments
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SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA - A 2-year-old son of Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson has died. He had been in critical condition in a hospital with severe head injuries since Wednesday.

Sioux Falls police say the boy, a victim of alleged abuse, passed away from his injuries at the hospital Friday afternoon.

Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, has been charged with aggravated assault and aggravated assault on an infant in Lincoln County for allegedly harming the 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.

Peterson said he would be playing in Sunday's game "without a doubt."

The Lincoln County State's Attorney's Office says it will be reviewing police reports for consideration of additional charges. 

Police say 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."

"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."

Patterson is being held on a $750,000 cash bond.

Police say at this time, the child's name is being withheld out of respect for the family. His name will be released early next week.

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