NFL Star Adrian Peterson’s Toddler Hospitalized After Assault

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UPDATE: Peterson’s son passed away on Friday. 

The 2-year-old son of football star Adrian Peterson is in critical condition at a South Dakota hospital after he was allegedly beaten by the man dating his mother, authorities say.

Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, of Sioux Falls, has been charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery on an infant, according to the Argus Leader.

He is the boyfriend of the child’s mother, although the Sioux Falls Police Department characterized the relationship as “fairly new.”

Peterson’s father Nelson spoke to the media about his grandson on Friday afternoon:

“All I can say is, we are asking for prayers and for respect for our family as we deal with this tragic situation,” he told reporters.

According to multiple news sources, the child was rushed to the hospital Wednesday night with head injuries. Tom Wollman, the prosecutor in Lincoln County, S.D., said the child remains “unresponsive.”

The Minnesota Vikings running back missed practice Thursday to travel to Sioux Falls but returned on Friday and plans to play this weekend.

“I really appreciate all the support from fans and the Vikings,” Peterson said in a statement. “I ask y’all to please respect my privacy, and not ask at all about the situation.”

Image credit: By Mike Morbeck (Flickr: Adrian Peterson) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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