Adrian Peterson charged in severe abuse of 4-year old son

Adrian Peterson was taken into custody and released on bond in Texas early Saturday morning following his indictment on a charge of child abuse for allegedly using a branch to spank his son.

A listing on the Montgomery County website said Peterson, 28, was confined at 1:06 a.m. and released less than a half hour later after posting $15,000 bond.

Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Friday that the charge accuses Peterson of using a switch to spank one of his sons. Hardin said Peterson didn’t mean to hurt the boy, whose injuries and age were not disclosed.

The Vikings, about an hour after issuing a statement acknowledging the case, said Peterson would be on the inactive list Sunday for their home opener against New England. Houston police and authorities in Montgomery and Harris counties declined comment.

Peterson will have to surrender to authorities, but there is no timeline for when he will appear in Texas, Hardin said.

The allegations against one of the NFL’s biggest stars came during a week in which the NFL has been under heavy criticism and scrutiny for the way it handled a domestic violence case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and his then-fiancee. Commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games, but he was suspended indefinitely this week after a longer version of security video surfaced showing Rice punching her in the face.

Critics are also closely watching how the league proceeds in the cases of Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers, both still playing with domestic abuse cases pending. Hardy was convicted July 15 of assaulting a woman and communicating threats, but is appealing. San Jose police are still investigating an Aug. 31 incident involving McDonald.

The NFL didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Peterson’s situation.

Peterson did not practice on Thursday because of what coach Mike Zimmer called a “veteran day,” allowing experienced players to rest, but Peterson was at the team facility that day and spoke to reporters about the upcoming game against the Patriots.

He returned to practice on Friday and was in the locker room following the workout with the rest of his teammates for lunch. Shortly thereafter, Peterson posted a message on his Twitter account that said in part: “It’s your season! Weapons may form but won’t prosper! God has you covered don’t stress or worry!”

Last season, not long after finding out that he had a 2-year-old son living in South Dakota, Peterson rushed to the hospital after authorities said the boy was brutally beaten by his mother’s boyfriend. The boy died, and a 28-year-old man is scheduled to go on trial next month on second-degree murder charges in the case.

Hardin, the defense attorney, is a familiar name in sports circles. He successfully defended Roger Clemens in his recent perjury trial over the alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs and two years ago represented Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill, who was sentenced to one year of probation after pleading no contest to assaulting his former girlfriend.

He has worked with Peterson before, too: In 2012, he said Peterson was the victim after the player was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest following an incident at a Houston nightclub.

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