The 2-year-old son of National Football League Most Valuable Player Adrian Peterson died on Friday in Sioux Falls after an apparent assault, according to police in South Dakota and media reports.
Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens said the boy died after suffering head injuries on Wednesday, adding that doctors at the hospital where the child was taken said they believed the injuries were caused by child abuse.
South Dakota officials said earlier on Friday that a 27-year-old man had been charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault on accusations of abusing a 2-year-old boy, who was not identified at the time.
Clemens said the man, Joseph Patterson, will face additional charges. Patterson is being held on a $750,000 cash bond, according to police.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper reported on Friday that Nelson Peterson, Adrian’s father, confirmed that the running back’s son was assaulted, allegedly by a friend of the boy’s mother. The paper reported that the child and his mother were living in Sioux Falls at the time of the assault, according to Nelson Peterson.
After practice on Friday, the Minnesota Vikings running back said in videotaped remarks that he would not take questions about the incident and asked for his privacy to be respected.
On Friday afternoon, Peterson posted a note on Facebook without alluding specifically to the incident, saying: “Thank you to my family, my fans and fans of other teams for their support.
“The NFL is a fraternity of brothers and I am thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players,” he added.