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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson

Renee Jones Schneider, Dml - Star Tribune

Viking Adrian Peterson was all smiles as he practiced in front of the media Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minn. (RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER * reneejones@star-tribune.com) Adrian Peterson

Renee Jones Schneider, Dml - Star Tribune

Adrian Peterson arrested in Houston

  • Article by: KELLY SMITH
  • Star Tribune
  • July 8, 2012 - 1:55 AM

Adrian Peterson spent Saturday morning in a Houston jail after police said the Vikings star pushed an officer and resisted arrest at a nightclub.

The incident landed Peterson in custody until he posted a $1,000 bond a few hours later. The four-time All-Pro running back now awaits a Friday appearance in Harris County Criminal Court.

Police say Peterson, 27, was with a group of people sitting next to the bar at Live! at Bayou Place in downtown Houston. At 2 a.m., an off-duty police officer working security told them they had to leave because the club was closing. The officer left the group to tell other clubgoers to exit, and when he returned a short time later, Peterson and the group hadn't moved, Houston police spokesman Kese Smith said.

The officer again asked the group to leave.

"Peterson told the officer the group had heard them the first time and pushed him in the shoulder, causing him to stumble," Smith said.

The officer told Peterson that he was under arrest, but Peterson began yelling, struggling as the officer attempted to put on handcuffs and ignoring commands to stop resisting, Smith said. Peterson pulled away from the officer "and assumed a violent stance," Smith said.

A second officer working security at the club began to assist, but it took a third police officer also working security to detain the 6-foot-1, 217-pound Peterson.

"He was struggling the whole time," Smith said.

It wasn't clear whether alcohol was a factor in the incident, Smith said. TMZ.com reported that the nightclub's general manager, Daniel Maher, said Peterson had been drinking "and was a difficult customer all night."

Smith was not aware of other arrests Saturday at the nightclub, located in a reputable part of downtown Houston.

Once at jail, Peterson complained of shortness of breath but was determined to be "medically fine," Smith said.

Peterson, who lists an Oklahoma address, was then booked and formally charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. Smith said that Peterson could have been charged with assaulting an officer, but the district attorney approved the single charge.

While many NFL players live and work in the city, Smith said, "a vast majority conduct themselves in a responsible manner."

Peterson -- who is still recovering from surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left knee suffered Dec. 24 at Washington, an injury he has said won't cause him to miss the start of this season -- didn't comment publicly Saturday about the arrest. He tweeted Friday: "Looking forward to reporting to training camp on July 26. Hard work and Dedication."

Team, players react

Jeff Anderson, a public relations official for the Vikings, said the team wouldn't comment until it knew more. "We're aware of the situation and working to gather more information," Anderson said.

Quarterback Christian Ponder said on Saturday that he, too, didn't know the details of the incident but that Peterson is the "nicest guy" and "one of our biggest leaders."

"Obviously he's probably a little embarrassed by this, but he's a guy we count on," Ponder said. "We all have made mistakes. He'll learn from it. We'll be all right."

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe said that any time an NFL athlete is involved with an arrest, it makes big news, "but here with Adrian, everyone needs to take a breath and wait for some sort of concrete details before getting worked up."

Traffic troubles previously

Peterson's previous trouble with the law involved traffic violations. In 2006, when he was still in college at Oklahoma, he was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving, according to Texas records. In Minnesota, he received a speeding ticket in 2009 while driving 109 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone in Edina. In 2011, he was ticketed in Eden Prairie for not wearing a seat belt.

Saturday's incident follows several other Vikings-related arrests in the past year.

Earlier this year, cornerback Chris Cook was acquitted in a felony domestic assault case. Last month, Vikings fullback Jerome Felton was charged with drunken driving in Eden Prairie, and in April, running back Caleb King was arrested in an assault in Anoka County. The Vikings subsequently released King.

In April, General Manager Rick Spielman said that, with the personnel incidents, the team takes "each situation as it comes in."

Staff writers Dennis J. McGrath, Dan Wiederer and Mike Hughlett contributed to this report. Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141; Twitter: @kellystrib

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