The world is quite an evil and frightening place today. It seems we never know what will happen next; to what higher extreme a human being will take an evil act of violence. For Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the answer to that question has surfaced in an unimaginable way Friday.
Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault in relation to the passing of Peterson’s two year-old son. Other charges are being considered, according to U.S.A. Today.
Sioux Falls police just confirmed to NFL Media that Adrian Peterson’s son has died. Thoughts and prayers to the family. Just terrible.
— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) October 11, 2013
Patterson is dating the mother of Peterson’s child and has had a history of domestic assault. He has previously pleaded guilty to a matter involving another woman and juvenile male. According to Sioux Falls police, Patterson recently began a relationship with Peterson’s ex-wife.
On Wednesday, Patterson called 911 to report a choking at his apartment while he was alone with the boy. He was taken to a nearby hospital where later it was confirmed that the injuries suffered were in no way accidental.
“As officers and first responders got there, they found child was unresponsive and he was taken to the hospital,” police spokesman Sam Clemens said to USA TODAY Sports. “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.”
Peterson reached out to his fellow players and gave his thanks via Twitter Friday afternoon.
The NFL is a fraternity of brothers and I am thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players.
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) October 11, 2013
“I really appreciate all the support that I’ve been receiving from fans, the Vikings organization,” said Peterson. “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.”
Peterson has said he definitely will play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, in a game now that features an incredible amount of extra emotion and motivation to play his heart out.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Peterson and his family as he continues to get through this most difficult time in his life.