Adrian Peterson Son Dead: Vikings' Running Back's Child Victim Of Domestic Abuse; Suspect Accused Of Beating Facing Murder Charges?
Oct 12, 2013 10:03 AM EDT
Adrian Peterson's 2-year-old son, the victim of assault by a man allegedly dating his mother, died on Friday, police confirmed.
The Minnesota Vikings' running back has not confirmed the identity of the child, and authorities will no release the name upon request of the family. However, Peterson's father, Nelson Peterson, confirmed to the Pioneer Press that his son is the father of the victim.
Peterson released a statement on his Twitter account after 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.
According to USA Today, authorities arrested Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, on Friday on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated assault on an infant.
"As officers and first responders got there, they found child was unresponsive and he was taken to the hospital," Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens told USA TODAY. "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."
Additional charges have not been filed yet, but authorities are considering adding more, the New York Daily News reports. Patterson's bond was set at $750,000.
The mother of the child has not been identified, and is not a suspect in the case. According to the Daily News, Peterson was "not sure the child was his until recently." Peterson has another child the same age, Adrian Peterson Jr.
The running back held a press conference on Thursday asking the media for privacy during this time.
"I really appreciate all the support that I've been receiving from fans, the Vikings organization," Peterson said. "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 confirmed he will be playing in Sunday night's game against Carolina Panthers.