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Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson.
( Mike Morbeck )
The 2-year-old son of Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson died from injuries suffered at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend two days earlier in Sioux Falls, S.D., Friday.
Pronounced dead at a local hospital at 11:43 a.m., the child had been hospitalized in critical condition since Wednesday night due to head injuries. 27-year old Joseph Robert Patterson, the boyfriend of the child’s mother, called 911 Wednesday to report the boy choking in his apartment where he had been caring for the boy. Sioux Falls Police and EMS arrived and found the child unresponsive.
Because the child’s injuries were determined to be consistent with abuse, the police arrested Patterson, according to authorities. Patterson has a history of domestic violence, according to reports. He allegedly has a son with another Sioux Falls woman who claims she was choked, punched and threatened by him with a knife. The woman asked for protection orders twice against Patterson; both were ultimately dropped voluntarily in 2010 and 2011.
First reported by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Reuters would later confirm the death.
According to reports, the boy was a secret and Peterson wasn’t sure about the child until recently. Peterson has another child around the same age as the unknown 2-year-old named Adrian Peterson Jr. and a daughter with a different woman Adeja.
Though subdued in talking to media at his locker room Friday and even missed Thursday’s practice, Peterson seemed grateful for the help during his time of tragedy.
“I really appreciate all the support that I’ve been receiving from fans, the Vikings organization,” said Peterson. “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 hand. Thanks. Appreciate it.”
Peterson, who is second in the league in rushes, said he will play this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers as he continues.
“Football is something I will always fall back on,” Peterson said. “It gets me through tough times.”
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