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2-Year-Old Son of Adrian Peterson Killed, Allegedly by Mother’s Boyfriend

101113_peterson-adrian_600In news that shocked the professional football community and the entire nation, the two-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson has apparently died at the hands of the boyfriend of the child’s mother, according to media reports.

The boy died from injuries sustained in an alleged assault by Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, who was held on bail set at $750,000 at the Minnehaha County Jail, charged with aggravated assault and battery of an infant.

At 5:46 p.m. Wednesday, emergency responders went to the apartment where the child was staying and found him unresponsive.

Police spokesman Sam Clemens said the state attorney’s office is reviewing the case to consider additional charges against Patterson.

“We’re surrounding our investigation around the injuries to this child,” Clemens said. “Who the father is does not come into play in this investigation.”

The child was in Patterson’s apartment, where the boy had recently moved with his mother, who recently began a relationship with Patterson.

Patterson has a prior domestic abuse record involving a different woman and child and pleaded guilty to simple assault in an incident last year.

“I really appreciate all the support that I’ve been receiving from fans, the Vikings organization,” said Peterson, the NFL’s 2012 Most Valuable Player. “This is a private matter and I would ask you all to please just respect my privacy and not ask at all about the situation at hand. Thanks. Appreciate it.”

Peterson said he will definitely play Sunday’s game against the visiting Carolina Panthers.

“Football is something I will always fall back on,” he said. “It gets me through tough times. Just being around the guys in here, that’s what I need in my life, guys supporting me and just being able to go out and play this game I love. Things that I go through, I’ve said a thousand times, it helps me play this game to a different level. I’m able to kind of release a lot of my stress through this sport, so that’s what I plan on doing.”

Peterson, 28, was selected as an All-Pro for the third time last season after rushing for 2,097 yards, the second most in an NFL season. This season he has 421 yards on 92 carries, including an NFL-high five TDs.

Players from around the league and beyond reacted with shock and horror to the news.

“Sick for my friend. Strong guy but this one will bring the strongest down,” tweeted Miami Heat star LeBron James.

“It’s absolutely terrible. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, and hopefully things work out,” said Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers, the team Peterson plays against this week.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson practiced as well as he could yesterday, considering the circumstance.

“He seems like he was into it, engaged in what he had to get done,” Frazier said. “Obviously, tough. He’s human. But he was into it mentally, best as he could be.”

 

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