Adrian Peterson turned himself over to authorities early Saturday morning on child abuse charges ... faintly smiling for his mug shot.
Peterson was booked in Houston just after 1 AM and released a half hour later.
The football star is accused of beating his 4-year-old son with a tree branch ... hitting him so hard it left welts and caused him to bleed.
Peterson actually admitted to cops he gave his son "a whooping" and says it's the same treatment he got as a kid. Peterson's lawyer adds that his client "deeply regrets the unintentional injury."
The Vikings have deactivated Peterson for Sunday's game.
Indicted for Child Abuse
9/12/2014 1:26 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
4:12 PM PT -- According to the police report, Peterson allegedly sent text messages to the child's mother saying he "felt bad" because he struck the kid in the testicles.
"Got him in the nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I'm all tearing that butt up when needed!" the text said.
Peterson allegedly sent a follow up text saying, "Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has he biggest heart but don't play no games when it comes to acting right."
4:10 PM PT -- According to the police report, the child told authorities he had also been hit by a belt and there were "a lot of belts in daddy's closet."
The child also said AP had put leaves in his mouth when he was being struck and that his pants were down.
3:50 PM PT -- The Vikings have deactivated Peterson for Sunday's game.
3:34 PM PT -- Peterson has issued a statement through his lawyer saying, "The charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son."
"This indictment follows Adrian's full cooperation with authorities who have been looking into this matter. Adrian is a loving father who used his judgement as a parent to discipline his son."
"He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas. Adrian has never hidden from what happened."
"He has cooperated fully with authorities and voluntarily testified before the grand jury for several hours."
"Adrian will address the charges with the same respect and responsiveness he has brought to this inquiry from its beginning. It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury."
3:00 PM PT -- The police report on the case includes photos of cuts on the boy's thigh and hands. He also had bruises on his lower back and buttocks, and according to the report ... Peterson admitted punishing him.
One law enforcement source tells TMZ ... Peterson decided to discipline his son by grabbing a branch from a tree -- and then whipping the child on his bare skin. We're told several of the wounds were bleeding when the child went back to his mother.
2:31 PM PT -- The Vikings have issued a statement saying ... "The Vikings are in the process of gathering information regarding the legal situation involving Adrian Peterson."
"At this time, we will defer further questions to Adrian’s attorney Rusty Hardin."
Minnesota Vikings superstar Adrian Peterson has been indicted for child abuse in North Montgomery County, TX ... TMZ Sports has learned.
Sources connected to Peterson tell us ... the alleged victim is a male child from Minnesota who was visiting Adrian back in May at AP's home in Texas.
We're told the child returned home to his mother in Minn. who noticed injuries and took the child to a doctor. A short time later, the doctor contacted authorities in Texas to report Adrian.
Child Protective Services confirms it is working on a case involving Peterson. Multiple sources tell us the alleged victim is a 4-year-old boy.
Peterson was indicted in Montgomery County for reckless or negligent injury to a child, this according to MyFOX Houston 26.
Peterson missed Vikings team practice yesterday -- though the team explained it as a "veteran's day." Peterson did attend practice today and was said to be laughing and joking on the field.
Earlier today, Peterson posted a message on Twitter -- though it's unclear if it's related to the case.
"People understand that if you are on God's course and suppose to have that position and man decides to remove you know that God will remove everyone to place you rightfully! You matter!"
"Its your season! Weapons may form but won’t prosper! God has you covered don’t stress or worry!"
Story developing ...
Poses Problems for Prosecutors
2/20/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Surveillance video has surfaced in the Darren Sharper rape investigation that could blow a huge hole in the case for Arizona prosecutors -- and it's all because of what the footage DOESN'T show ... TMZ Sports has learned.
According to the police report ... Sharper's accusers claim they partied with the NFL star at a bar called The Mint for roughly 10 to 15 minutes in the hours before he allegedly drugged and raped the 2 women.
Problem is, multiple sources tell TMZ Sports ... Sharper is nowhere to be seen in security footage taken from The Mint on the night of the alleged attacks.
In addition ... multiple staff members also told cops they never saw Sharper inside their bar that night.
Clearly, this presents a big problem for prosecutors because it could undermine the accusers' credibility.
For his part, Sharper denies any wrongdoing ... not just in AZ, but in all 4 states where he's been accused of raping women.
Cake Delivery for My Favorite 'N-Word'
1/30/2014 11:56 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Adrian Peterson was like a living, breathing genie last night ... 'cause when his "n-word" DJ Whoo Kid asked for a red velvet cake, AP made it his personal mission to deliver the baked goods.
Whoo Kid made the plea for his favorite cake on TMZ just a few days ago ... saying he'd wave his $10,000 fee if a Super Bowl MVP asked him to DJ his party and provided his favorite dessert.
Whoo Kid said if anyone could make that happen, "I'll be your n-word for the night."
Clearly, Adrian got the message ... because he rounded up an RV cake with the message, "n-word we made it" ... and presented it to the DJ at W.i.P. nightclub in NYC last night.
Now, technically, Adrian isn't a Super Bowl MVP ... but he IS an NFL regular season MVP.
So ... does that count?
Alleged Child Murderer
Released from Jail
10/29/2013 12:56 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The man who allegedly beat Adrian Peterson's 2-year-old son to death has just been released from jail.
27-year-old Joseph Patterson was released from Minnehaha County Jail in South Dakota this morning after posting $750,000 bond.
The bond was lowered from $1 million yesterday after Patterson pled not guilty in court. He has been charged with second degree murder and 2 counts of first degree manslaughter, as well as aggravated battery of an infant. He has also been charged with felony child abuse.
Patterson, who was dating Adrian's baby mama at the time of the alleged attack on October 9th, was supposed to be caring for the child while she was away.
Son's Alleged Killer Charged
10/21/2013 5:58 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The man who allegedly beat Adrian Peterson's 2-year-old son to death was just charged with second degree murder ... TMZ has learned.
Joseph Patterson was charged with second degree murder and 2 counts of first degree manslaughter, as well as aggravated battery of an infant. He was also charged with felony child abuse.
Patterson, who was dating Adrian's baby mama at the time, was supposed to be caring for the child while she was away.
Second degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence in South Dakota.
Adrian Peterson to Baby Mama
I Never Stiffed You ...
On Child Support, Anyway
10/18/2013 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
NFL star Adrian Peterson never skimped on child support to the mother of his 2nd child, not once -- despite her claims -- at least according to official documents obtained by TMZ.
As we reported ... Erica Syion filed court docs back in April, accusing AP of stiffing her on more than $50,000 in unpaid child support and other bills (including travel expenses and tuition) related to their 4-year-old son.
She told us, Adrian eventually settled with her in September, paying all his outstanding bills -- but we've obtained official docs showing child support was NEVER in arrears.
According to the papers, Adrian has dutifully paid his child support to Erica ($2,500 a month) since 2009.
Sources close to AP tell us the court order which determined child support ... did NOT require him to pay tuition and travel expenses -- however when Erica raised the issue, Adrian ponied up.
We've also obtained docs showing Adrian asked the court for more visitation time with his son.
We reached out to Erica, but she hasn't gotten back to us.
Adrian Peterson's Baby Mama
He Left Me High & Dry
10/17/2013 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Adrian Peterson baby mama #2 Erica Syion left out one HUGE detail when she said the NFL star has taken good financial care of his kids -- back in April, TMZ has learned, she sued his ass for $52,032 in unpaid child support and other child-related bills.
Erica -- who has a 4-year-old son with Adrian -- went on "TMZ Live" Wednesday, claiming AP dutifully pays his child support on time. But that wasn't the case earlier this year.
We've learned Erica filed court docs, claiming Peterson failed to pay child support for three straight years, and also failed to reimburse her for their son's travel expenses and school tuition -- a bill that totaled $52,032.
There must have been some bad blood after that -- because Erica filed additional docs in July, asking the court to order Peterson not to trash talk her in front of their son, and not to hide their son from her.
But it was all resolved in September -- according to court docs, the two reached a settlement. Erica tells us, Adrian paid all his back child support as well as the other bills.
But there's a catch -- according to the docs, AP plans to stop paying school tuition for their son by next year. Interesting.
Calls to Adrian's camp weren't returned.
Adrian Peterson vs. Antonio Cromartie
WHO'D YOU RATHER?
10/17/2013 12:10 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
It's a battle of the football baby-daddies!
Here's 28-year-old Adrian Peterson who's reportedly fathered five (or possibly 7) children to date (left) -- and 29-year-old Antonio Cromartie who famously struggled to remember the names of his seven children on HBO's "Hard Knocks" show (right).
Adrian Peterson Baby Mama
He's Fathered 7 Kids ... Not 5
10/16/2013 12:07 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Our Adrian Peterson baby count was off by two -- at least according to one of the NFL star's baby mamas, who tells us AP has actually fathered SEVEN kids, not five.
TMZ broke the story about baby #5 today, but Erica Syion -- a former dancer who met AP in Houston a few years back -- called in to "TMZ Live" today to correct our math ... and the numbers are pretty shocking.
As for how good of a dad Adrian is, Erica says he dutifully pays his child support ... but could definitely stand to spend more quality time with his children.
5th Baby with (At Least) 4th Baby Mama
10/16/2013 7:58 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Adrian Peterson's baby count is now at 5 ... 'cause a 4th woman has surfaced who has a child with the NFL star, TMZ has learned.
This time, the baby mama is Erica Syion -- a former dancer who worked at a gentlemen's club in Dallas, TX. Erica and Adrian have a 4-year-old son together.
Sources connected to the situation tell us ... the two have a financial arrangement, in which Adrian gives Erica money to pay for the kid's schooling, as well as living expenses.
We're told the two met in Houston back in 2007 ... but their relationship has deteriorated in the past few years.
Sources tell us Adrian IS involved in the child's life -- but Erica is the primary parent, with Adrian visiting when he can.
In total, Adrian has fathered (at least) 5 children: 2 kids he referenced in a 2009 documentary ... one was 4 at the time. He didn't mention the age of the other (it's likely he was referencing his son with Erica).
Since then ... he fathered Adrian Peterson Jr. (who's 2-years-old) and a 3-month-old daughter with a waitress in Minnesota. His other son, a 2-year-old, passed away last week.
It's possible his 8-year-old and AP Jr. have the same mom -- but so far, we haven't been able to confirm.
Has ANOTHER Secret Child
10/15/2013 5:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Adrian Peterson fathered a 5th child -- his 2nd secret child -- and the mother was a waitress at a popular Minnesota nightclub, TMZ has learned.
We've confirmed ... the child is a 3-month-old little girl who's living with her mom in Minnesota.
Sources close to the situation tell us the child's last name on her birth certificate is listed as "Peterson."
On the day Peterson's 2-year-old son Ty passed away, the mother of AP's 5th child posted an emotional message on her Facebook page about the situation.
"Today has been a long day finding out my [daughter's] brother passed away and knowing that she never even got to meet him."
Sources connected to the situation tell us ... the mother of AP's 5th child first met the NFL star while serving him as a VIP waitress at a place called Seven -- a steakhouse, sushi joint and ultralounge all wrapped in one.
It's unclear how involved Adrian has been in the child's life -- but the mother recently posted a photo showing the child decked out in Minnesota Vikings gear, so we're guessing they're cool.
Peterson has fathered 4 other children -- an 8-year-old daughter, a 4-year-old son, a 2-year-old son and another son, who died just months after AP learned he was the father.
We called AP & the child's mother for comment -- so far, no word back.
Man Who Raised AP's Son:
"So Tired of This 'Poor Adrian' Sh*t"
10/15/2013 10:08 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The man who raised Adrian Peterson's 2-year-old son says he's sick and tired of people feeling sorry for the NFL star, claiming AP didn't care about the boy because he never got the chance to meet him.
We broke the story, AP only learned he was the biological dad a few months ago. Before the revelation, the child's mother was under the impression that the father was a man named Bobby Ruffin.
After the child passed away on Friday, Bobby went to his Facebook page and unloaded ... writing, "So tired of this poor Adrian Peterson sh*t. Let me blow all your minds. The boy who died was my son."
"Yes A.P. he was the biological father but I raised him and he carried my name. Tyrese Robert Ruffin. I don’t blame AP for not really caring cuz him and I both found out recently who the biological father was."
“AP met my son for the first time yest when my son was already in coma. I was here today when we pulled the plug, not him. He was happily practicing and has no problem playing on Sunday."
"So yea this isn’t all out yet but I’m sick of the poor AP sh*t. He didn’t know or even meet my son. Sorry for the outburst but put yourself in my place.”