A 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson died on Friday in a Sioux Falls, S.D., hospital, the victim of alleged abuse by a man who was dating the boy’s mother, police confirmed.
Peterson’s father, Nelson Peterson, confirmed Friday afternoon that the child is Adrian Peterson’s. Peterson met with the media Friday, hours before the boy passed away, and said at the time he still planned to play in Sunday’s game against Carolina, but declined to get into details about the case.
Peterson posted a statement on his Twitter account after news of the child’s death.
“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. God Bless everyone and thank u so much,” Peterson wrote in three tweets.
Police arrested Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, who was initially charged with aggravated assault and aggravated assault on an infant. Sioux Falls police said additional charges are being considered.
Patterson has a prior domestic abuse record with a different woman and child, having pleaded guilty to simple assault in an incident last year involving an adult female and juvenile male.
Sioux Falls police said Patterson recently started a relationship with the mother of the 2-year-old victim. Patterson appeared in court Friday morning in Canton, S.D. His bond had been set at $750,000 in cash before the boy’s death.
The incident occurred in Patterson’s apartment, where the boy had recently moved with his mother. Patterson called 911 on Wednesday evening to report a choking at the Platinum Valley apartment, but Lt. Blaine Larsen of the Sioux Falls Police Department said it became clear at the hospital that the boy’s injuries were not accidental.
Sioux Falls police said the incident was initially reported as a medical emergency.0