Fox Houston reports that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in Montgomery County, Texas, for reckless or negligent injury to a child. A warrant has been issued for Peterson's arrest.
The Vikings have deactivated Peterson for Sunday's game against New England.
According to Fox Houston's Isiah Carey, the charges stem from allegations that Peterson "beat his young son."
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport adds this detail:
(A switch is a narrow, flexible branch from a tree. A child being disciplined is often sent to fetch his own switch.)
Sports Radio 610 in Houston obtained a draft of the police report which says Peterson admitted that he did, in his words, "whoop" one of his children last May while the boy was visiting him in Houston.
When the 4-year-old boy returned to Minnesota, his mother took him to a doctor. The police report said the boy told the doctor Peterson had hit him with a branch from a tree.
The doctor told investigators that the boy had a number of lacerations on his thighs, along with bruise-like marks on his lower back and buttocks and cuts on his hand.
The police report says the doctor described some of the marks as open wounds and termed it "child abuse." Another examiner agreed, calling the cuts "extensive."
CBS Minnesota includes photos of the boy's injuries, released by the Houston PD This is one, apparently showing lacerations to the boy's legs:
When investigators questioned Peterson, they say he told them he regarded it as a normal spanking and not excessive. A grand jury seated earlier this summer decided not to charge him.
Nick Wright at CBS Houston reports that Peterson told police he hit his son after the boy pushed another child off of a motorbike video game.
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. Peterson then texted the boy's mother, saying that one wound in particular would make her "mad at me about his leg. I got kinda good wit the tail end of the switch."
Peterson also allegedly said via text message to the child's mother that he "felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh" and also acknowledged the injury to the child's scrotum in a text message, saying, "Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I'm all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!"
In further text messages, Peterson allegedly said, "Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don't play no games when it comes to acting right."
According to police reports, the child, however, had a slightly different story, telling authorities that "Daddy Peterson hit me on my face." The child also expressed worry that Peterson would punch him in the face if the child reported the incident to authorities. He also said that he had been hit by a belt and that "there are a lot of belts in Daddy's closet." He added that Peterson put leaves in his mouth when he was being hit with the switch while his pants were down. The child told his mother that Peterson "likes belts and switches" and "has a whooping room."
Wright tells us the boy gave a full statement to police, and that there is there is a 40-plus-minute audio recording of Peterson talking to police and telling them about the "whooping." There are more than a dozen photos of the child's injuries, as well as a photo of Peterson removing a switch from a tree that is reportedly similar in size and shape to the one allegedly used to inflict the beating.
Here's a statement from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, via Albert Breer:
"An unknown police department called the City of Houston police department with a complaint of child endangerment, and Houston referred it to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office where the alleged case occurred. Montgomery County investigated a complaint of "injury to a child" and referred the case to the district attorney. The DA then handed the case to the Grand Jury."
The Vikings released this statement:
"The Vikings are in the process of gathering information regarding the legal situation involving Adrian Peterson. At this time, we will defer further questions to Adrian's attorney Rusty Hardin."
Peterson's attorney Rusty Hardin, who is reportedly out of the country, emailed this statement:
"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."