Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will appear in court Monday morning in Houston in connection with a July 7 incident during which police allege he resisted arrest during a skirmish with security at a nightclub.
Peterson will fly to Texas on Sunday and his mandatory court appearance means he will miss a day of Vikings training camp in Mankato. Yet Monday will likely be the only day on which he misses any football-related time due to his legal proceedings.
Monday’s hearing – Peterson’s second court appearance in the case – will be procedural with the prosecution formally announcing whether it wants to go forward and set a trial date or drop the charges altogether.
The state could request more time to investigate and review the case. But even in that instance, Peterson’s defense team will request that a trial date be set.
Peterson’s attorney Rusty Hardin has pushed to have the case thrown out but otherwise will work with the prosecution to have a trial scheduled during the week of Nov. 12. That’s Week 11 on the NFL schedule, which is the Vikings’ bye week.
A source said a trial on Peterson’s case would likely last two or three days. So setting the trial for the bye week would keep Peterson from missing any additional practice time with the Vikings.
Houston police have alleged that, on the night in question, Peterson was belligerent and argumentative when asked to leave the Houston nightclub Live! at Bayou Place at closing time. After words were exchanged, police say Peterson became angry and "assumed an aggressive stance” with three officers then needed to restrain the Vikings star.
Peterson has been adamant that he did nothing wrong, insisting that security and police initiated the altercation, tackling him and punching him in the face several times.
Upon reporting to training camp on July 26, Peterson made it clear he would continue to fight the misdemeanor charges, not wanting his reputation as one of the NFL’s kindest and most modest stars to be tainted by an incident he says was unprovoked and unwarranted.
“The situation is what it is and I haven’t lost any sleep over it,” Peterson said. “I know in due time things will get handled and justice will be served. It’s an unfortunate situation but I feel like everything works itself out … Wrong is wrong and right is right. I did nothing wrong in this situation and ultimately that will be shown.”
Hardin has said he has provided the state with Peterson's version of the events and has submitted statements from three witnesses not connected to either the Vikings running back or the Houston police. Those witnesses, Hardin said, have indicated Peterson had not been a troublesome patron and was unnecessarily attacked.