Adrian Peterson's son dies as a result of assault in Sioux Falls

The boyfriend of the 2-year-old’s mother is in custody in Sioux Falls, S.D., and will now face additional charges.

A 2-year-old son of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson died Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D., from injuries sustained in an assault that police said was committed by the boyfriend of the child’s mother.

The child was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital Wednesday night, and Peterson spent Thursday in Sioux Falls. Police said the child’s name won’t be released until next week, but they confirmed that the Vikings star is the boy’s father.

Peterson returned to practice Friday and addressed reporters briefly before learning that his son had died. He asked for privacy and said he didn’t want to answer questions about the tragedy.

“I really appreciate all the support that I’ve been receiving from fans, the Vikings organization,” Peterson said. “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.”

The man Sioux Falls police say attacked the child is Joseph Patterson, 27. He was charged Friday with aggravated assault and aggravated battery of an infant. His bond was set at $750,000.

Patterson apparently was in Lincoln County State Court on Friday when the boy died at 11:43 a.m. Court officials were unaware during the proceeding that the child had died as a result of the assault.

State’s attorney Tom Wollman said additional charges would be filed next week to reflect that the case now involves a homicide.

Peterson rarely talks about his personal life in media interviews, but he has made public appearances with two of his children. He recently tweeted about his daughter, Adeja, who is 8. At training camp, Peterson’s fiancée brought his son Adrian Jr., who is also 2, to visit his father.

The child who died did not carry Peterson’s name.

Following the news of his son’s death, Peterson sent out a series of tweets.

“Thank you to my family, my fans and fans of other teams for their support,” he wrote. “The NFL is a fraternity of brothers and I am thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players. God Bless everyone and thank u so much.”

According to reports, the suspect in the case called authorities to the apartment about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday on a medical call about the toddler, saying the child was choking.

Wollman said that when the child was examined, he was found to have head injuries consistent with child abuse.

“It’s just an absolute tragedy. We’re in the business of dealing with human tragedy, but any time it involves the death of a child, it just is that much harder for everyone involved to deal with,” Wollman said.

Patterson is being held at the Minnehaha County jail. He has been in trouble before for violent behavior toward others.

Wollman filed two motions Friday morning asking a judge to revoke suspended sentences that Patterson had received on two misdemeanor charges. Neither of the earlier sentences involved the mother of the child who died, Wollman said.

Patterson was convicted of simple domestic assault last summer and also of violating a domestic abuse bond last year, which involved a no-contact order issued in connection with the domestic violence. Those cases involved another woman with whom Patterson has a child.

Peterson wants to play

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  • Adrian Peterson, right, was at practice Friday at Vikings headquarters in Eden Prairie. He thanked supporters and asked for privacy.

  • Joseph Patterson, 27, center, was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery of an infant. More charges are expected to be filed next week. Here, Patterson left the Lincoln County Courthouse after Friday’s hearing.

  • Family, friends and well-wishers gather in Sertoma Park in Sioux Falls, S.D., for a candlelight vigil in memory of Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson's 2-year-old son on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013. Authorities said a 2-year-old boy died Friday of injuries suffered in an alleged child abuse case and a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press the boy was Peterson's son. (AP Photo/Argus Leader, Jay Pickthorn) NO SALES

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