After spending the last two days in critical condition at a South Dakota hospital, the 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson has died.
According to reports, the young boy suffered a severe beating at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend, identified as Joseph Patterson. The 27-year-old was arrested and charged with aggravated felony assault and battery of an infant earlier today. However, in response to the boy’s recent death, prosecutors are considering filing additional charges against Patterson.
Law enforcement officials told TMZ that the reported incident took place Wednesday evening and the suspect was the only person home with the young boy. Upon arrival at 5:46 p.m., emergency responders found the toddler unresponsive with severe head injuries. The hospital later confirmed that those injuries were consistent with abuse.
Sources say Patterson, whose relationship with the child’s mother was “fairly new,” has a history of domestic violence.
“Patterson has a son with another Sioux Falls woman, court records show. Records also show that the mother of his child had asked for protection orders twice, claiming he’d choked and punched her, threatened her with a knife and held her in the bedroom against her will,” ArgusLeader.com reports. “In 2012, Patterson was charged with simple assault against the mother, however, and was ordered to undergo family violence training and to stay away from her until completing it.”
Despite this troubling time, Adrian Peterson said he still plans to play in Sunday’s game against Carolina.
“I really appreciate all the support that I’ve been receiving from fans, the Vikings organization,” the running back said, who missed Thursday’s practice to check on his son. “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.”
“I will be playing Sunday, without a doubt,” he added. “All I can say is, we are asking for prayers and for respect for our family as we deal with this tragic situation.”
A Lincoln County judge set the suspect’s bond at $750,000 in cash.
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