Adrian Peterson was victim of police, says lawyer

3:23 PM, Jul 9, 2012   |    comments
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Adrian Peterson. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

By Robert Klemko, USA TODAY

A lawyer for Adrian Peterson says the Minnesota Vikings running back did not resist arrest and was struck by police for "no legitimate reason" during his weekend arrest.

Peterson, who is recovering from anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament injuries, was arrested in Houston Saturday morning and charged with resisting arrest after allegedly shoving and yelling at an off-duty officer at a nightclub, according to Houston police.

Peterson has denied the charges, and his attorney, Rusty Hardin, echoed that denial. Hardin recently represented former pro baseball player Roger Clemens in his federal perjury trial.

Said Hardin in a statement to the media Monday:

"Adrian Peterson did not resist arrest this past Saturday morning and any suggestion that he pushed, struck or shoved a Houston Police officer is a total fabrication. He, in fact, was struck at least twice in the face for absolutely no legitimate reason, and when all the evidence is impartially reviewed, it will clearly show Adrian was the victim, not the aggressor."

According to a Houston police spokesperson, Peterson was at a downtown nightclub when an off-duty officer working security began to clear the club because it was closing.

Peterson reportedly wanted a drink of water before leaving, shouting allegedly ensued, and Peterson was taken into custody. The native of nearby Palestine, Texas, was charged with resisting arrest. He was released a few hours later on $1,000 bond.

Peterson's father, Nelson, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Peterson did not push the officer and was the subject of "vulgar language" and "disrespect."

"Adrian has a high regard for people in the military and the officers that help protect us," said Nelson, who did not witness the incident.

In his statement to the media Monday, Hardin said his legal team has been investigating the incident and believes Peterson is owed an apology:

"It is absolutely clear to me that the charges should not have been filed, and the Bayou Club owes Adrian an apology for having put out a totally false version of what happened. Adrian Peterson does not act the way he has been described in the initial reports, and he did not act that way Saturday morning. He was only in that club for 30 to 40 minutes, was never objectionable to other patrons, and never physically resisted any police officer. Adrian is extremely upset about these false allegations. These charges are totally at odds with the way he has conducted himself throughout his career, and he asks that his fans and the public at large reserve judgment until they hear all the facts. Adrian looks forward to his day in court."


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