Vikings’ Adrian Peterson Booked on Charge of Child Abuse


NY Times:

Vikings’ Adrian Peterson Booked on Charge of Child Abuse

Adrian Peterson, the star Minnesota Vikings running back charged with child abuse, surrendered to Montgomery County, Tex., authorities early Saturday morning and was freed on $15,000 bond.Peterson flew to Houston on Friday night after practicing with the Vikings earlier in the day. A warrant had been issued for Peterson’s arrest Friday afternoon, one day after he was true-billed — indicted, essentially — by a Montgomery County grand jury on a single count of injuring a child. The team listed him as inactive for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots at Minneapolis.

It was not immediately clear whether Peterson planned to return for the game or remain in the Houston area, where he lives in the off-season. In the N.F.L., inactive players often stand on the sidelines. A Vikings spokesman did not return a phone call.
A spokeswoman for Rusty Hardin, Peterson’s lawyer, said Hardin had no further comment on the arrest or Peterson’s surrender. On Friday, a Vikings spokesman said the team was gathering information and referred all questions to Hardin.

The charges stemmed from Peterson’s disciplining his 4-year-old son in May in Spring, Tex., with a small tree branch, commonly called a switch.
CBS Houston, citing law enforcement sources and police reports, said the beating caused cuts and bruises in several areas of the boy’s body, including his back, ankles and legs. Peterson, 29, told the police that the punishment was a “whupping” administered after the boy pushed another of Peterson’s children.

I’m certain’y not going to justify child abuse but am I lone in thinking this is totally different from the Rice situation & the Vikings should hold off suspending him?

I suspect Peterson is practicing the kind of parenting he received and needs help. I remember a discussion onece with some co-workers about corporal punishment – all of us thought the others’ punishments had been abuse but ours weren’t – I was spanked with a paddle, one coworker was made to kneel on dried peas or rice and another had to stand on a stump outside for an hour.


Have you seen the pictures of the 4 year old’s injuries?


I’ve seen those types of injuries before.
Switchin’ is common in the South. I’ve seen parents publicly switch their children. Usually they target the backs of the legs.


The welts are on the front of the thighs, lower back, rear-end and it is reported he had “defensive injuries” to his hands meaning it would be likely that he had his hands up trying to prevent it and the police report has it, whether it is true or not, that Peterson put leaves in the boys mouth. That is in there as well.


The young boy’s injuries indicate that this wasn’t simply a spanking - it was a prolonged beating. I believe either the Vikings or the NFL will suspend him, and that they will be justified in doing so.


The official charge is something like “negligence causing injury to a child” rather than straight “child abuse”, maybe the difference is only semantics. Abuse is usually defined as intentional.


I grew up in the south in the 50’s where elementary school teachers had large wooden paddles and switching was a common parental punishment, So when I first heard this story I was sympathetic to Mr. Peterson. Then I saw the pictures.


In light of the physical evidence, I am inclined to agree with the aggressive prosecution of this case. At the very least, Peterson should be granted probation with mandatory parenting classes, or lose the right to unsupervised visitation. I have no problem with spanking, but the line has to be drawn when the punishment extends either to numerous bruising our lacerations. I could even accept a single bruise or laceration as an honest attempt to discipline that went too far. But all this is disturbing.


There was at least one blow to the testicles. That poor baby!

Somehow I find this even more disturbing, if that’s possible, in view of the death last year of his two-year-old son from another relationship. That little boy was also the victim of child abuse.

If you are not intelligent enough to discipline a child without resorting to physical force, you should not have one.


Yes. And Peterson was apparently wailing away so hard with the stick/branch that he hit his son in the testicles.

Peterson should accept a plea deal if offered. I don’t believe this will go well for him if there is a jury trial.


I personally would not spank my own children—if I had children----but I have no problem if other parents do it.

This though, goes beyond discipline into staright-out child abuse. Do not forget----he made the 4-year old strip down to nothing the PUT LEAVES IN HIS MOUTH to shut him then switched him so hard that he left marks, welts, and drew blood upon the poor child—even accidentally hitting him in the testicles----thebn told the mother basically “Oh, I’m sorry I hit him in the testicles—but hey, I taught him respect REAL GOOD!” :rolleyes:

All because the four-year old had pushed somebody-----------guess what, four year old regularly push other kids—does not mean he needs to be beaten like this. A FOUR-YEAR old would never have done ANYTHING to deserve being punished like this, IMO.

And saying—“well, I was whooped like this as a child by my father----and I did right…” is not an excuse. :(:frowning:

I agree though------what he needs is parenting classes to fix his obviously warped view of punishment. Just because child abuse was tolerated and accepted decades ago does not mean it should be accepted now. :rolleyes::rolleyes:


Catholic Schools of course “had” a long tradition of Corporal Punishment never mind certain areas of the country.

In New Orleans as shown in this article, St. Augustine was one of the last schools using it:

Spare the rod, spoil the child.


He is not being charged with using corporal punishment, but for using punishment to the point it causes injuries.


But if one speaks about spanking, they are speaking about corporal punishment.

corporal punishment noun
1 : punishment applied to the body of an offender including the death penalty, whipping, and imprisonment
***2: punishment administered by an adult (as a parent or a teacher) to the body of a child ranging in severity from a slap to a spanking ***

Yes, I’d say he was dealing out Corporal Punishment.


The times and standards have changed for the better.


Exactly, he had a long “switch” and it sounds like according to his own messages, the end of the branch wrapped around the front of the leg and struck him in the groin area.

I read the NY Daily News article on it, he would likely get probation if he has a clean criminal record which I believe he does though the crime is punishable by up to two years in prison, thus a felony.


A switch, what was he abused by his Father also? I can’t imagine where you would get that idea otherwise. A switch? :confused: “NO WEAPONS with the kids”


Many in the country, rural areas, South, know what a “Switch” is as one of the prior posts indicates. Some say it is an African American phenomenon or perhaps more common with Evangelicals as this article says:

I certainly know about sayings such as “You won’t be able to sit down for a month” or someone is going to “tan one’s hide” if I may say that. To me these are words describing spanking or close to it. I think switches are even in some of Mark Twain’s writings, Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer.


Not all corporal punishment is child abuse. However child abuse can be corporal punishment. In this case, it caused numerous cuts to the skin.


Still for someone to activate this thinking and act on it, then its not only word association of cultural identification, Its a learned behavior and personal experience too. No physical, verbal or psychological abuse could be learned also. And imho the switch part can be simply omitted.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit