Vikings' Adrian Peterson turns himself in on injury to child charge

HOUSTON - Adrian Peterson turned himself into the Montgomery County Jail shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

He is charged with one count of injury to a child with reckless or criminal negligence. Peterson was released after posting a $15,000 bond.

The Minnesota Vikings star running back was indicted on an injury to a child charge in Montgomery County on Thursday.

On Saturday, Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant addressed the media, saying the D.A.'s office takes all allegations of child abuse very seriously. Grant said a single grand jury decided to indict Peterson after reviewing evidence for a significant number of weeks.

"Obviously parents are entitled to discipline their children as they see fit except for when that discipline exceeds what the community would say is reasonable. A grand jury, having indicted this case, looked at the injuries that were inflicted upon this child and determined that the discipline was not reasonable," said Grant.

Grand declined to discuss specifics on the case, citing the ongoing criminal proceedings.

According to a police report, Peterson used a switch taken from a tree outside his home to discipline his 4-year-old son, who was visiting Peterson at his Montgomery County home in May.

The boy told police he pushed his brother off his bike and that's when his father got mad at him. He said his pants were down when Peterson hit him with the switch.

Photos obtained by Local 2 show bruises and lacerations on his legs, arms and buttocks.

The boy's mother told police she was speaking to him via Skype while he was visiting Peterson and her son said he got a "whooping" with a switch from Peterson.

Investigators say the boy told them Peterson has hit him with a belt and punched him in the head on other occasions.

The police report states that upon returning to Minnesota, the mother took the boy to the doctor, who examined him and determined the injuries were consistent with the boy's story and consistent with physical abuse.

According to the police report, about a week later the boy's mother said Peterson apologized for what happened to their son. She told police Peterson said he didn't make the switch smooth enough and the ridges were what caused the marks.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said a warrant was issued Friday for Peterson's arrest.

Peterson's attorney Rusty Hardin released a statement which read in part:

"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. 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."

Hardin said Peterson testified before the grand jury for several hours and is cooperating fully with authorities.

The Minnesota Vikings released a statement which read, "The Vikings are in the process of gathering information regarding the legal situation involving Adrian Peterson."

The Vikings said they have deactivated Peterson for Sunday's home game against the New England Patriots.

Back in July 2012, resisting arrest charges against Peterson were dropped; he had been accused of pushing a police officer outside the club in Bayou Place in downtown Houston.

While Peterson awaits his first court appearance, Grant said the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office will also be working with other law enforcement agencies to determine who is responsible for releasing details and photos of the confidential investigation.

"It's not permissible under the law, it's inappropriate, it shouldn't have happened and we're cooperating with law enforcement authorities to find out who did it," said Grant.

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