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Updated: July 9th, 2012 1:27pm
Adrian Peterson's attorney says client was 'victim, not the aggressor'

Adrian Peterson's attorney says client was 'victim, not the aggressor'

by Tom Pelissero and Judd Zulgad
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© AP 2012
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Adrian Peterson's comments about his Saturday arrest have been limited to a couple of messages on Twitter. But now Peterson's father and high-powered attorney are weighing in.

Nelson Peterson told the Pioneer Press the off-duty police officer who confronted the Minnesota Vikings' star halfback at a Houston bar used "vulgar language" and was "very disrespectful" and that Peterson suffered a black eye when his face hit the ground during detainment.

Peterson, 27, spent about 8 hours in jail after the incident, which began when Peterson shoved an off-duty officer who was trying to clear out a nightclub at closing time in the Bayou Live! district, according to police.

He was charged with resisting arrest, a Class A misdemeanor that probably would yield only a fine for a first offender if Peterson is convicted. He is due in court on Friday and has hired attorney Rusty Hardin to represent him.

Hardin issued a statement Monday afternoon that said his client "did not resist arrest and any suggestion that he pushed, struck or shoved a Houston Police Officer is a total fabrication."

Instead, Hardin said Peterson was hit in the face twice, "for absolutely no legitimate reason, and when all the evidence is impartially reviewed, it will clearly show Adrian was the victim, not the aggressor."

Continued Hardin's statement: "We have been investigating what happened since Saturday afternoon, and 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."

Nelson Peterson, who didn't witness the incident, told the Pioneer Press it's his understanding Peterson did not push the off-duty officer, pointing out that Peterson is not charged with assault or any more serious crime.

"Adrian is kind of frustrated because he's the kind of guy who's tried to do the right things in society and he cares about being a high-character guy," Nelson Peterson told the newspaper. "He has a 9-year-old daughter, so he doesn't want her hearing in the news about how he's being perceived."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Adrian Peterson