NFL star Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings indicted in Montgomery County

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The case involves an injury to a child, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, who say they got the case earlier this year

Star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has a warrant out for his arrest and will surrender soon, according to his criminal defense attorney. Peterson has been indicted in Montgomery County on a charge of child abuse after allegedly using a branch to spank his son and the team benched him for this weekend's game against New England.

The charges were confirmed by attorney Rusty Hardin Friday, who released the following statement.

    "Adrian Peterson has been informed that he was indicted by a grand jury in Montgomery County, Texas for Injury to a Child. The charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son. This indictment follows Adrian's full cooperation with authorities who have been looking into this matter. Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas. Adrian has never hidden from what happened. He has cooperated fully with authorities and voluntarily testified before the grand jury for several hours. Adrian will address the charges with the same respect and responsiveness he has brought to this inquiry from its beginning. It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury."


The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office tells us they got the case earlier this year. It was a case that was originally referred to the city of Houston, but turned over to Montgomery County after it was discovered the alleged incident happened there. An arrest warrant has been issued for Peterson, who we're told has been cooperative.

After news of the indictment, the Vikings ruled Peterson out for Sunday's game against New England.

Peterson, 29, played his high school football in Palestine, Texas, and continues to have family ties to our area. He's in his eighth season, all of them with the Vikings. Widely considered the best running back in the league, he has rushed for 10,190 yards and 86 touchdowns in his career.

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!"

The allegations 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. An independent investigation headed by former FBI director Robert Mueller has been convened to look into the handling of the Rice situation. Commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for just two games. After a longer version of security video surfaced on Monday revealing Rice's punch to the face of his now-wife, the Ravens released Rice and the league suspended him indefinitely.

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

A man who identified himself as Peterson's uncle, Chris Peterson, answered the door at the running back's home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and said Peterson wasn't there and that the family had no comment.

Peterson is in his eighth season, all of them with the Vikings. Widely considered the best running back in the league, he has rushed for 10,190 yards and 86 touchdowns in his career. 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 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.

The Associated Pres contributed to this report

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