Adrian Peterson's Son Dies After Being Assaulted

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It has been reported that Minnesota Vikings player Adrian Peterson's two-year-old son died in South Dakota today because of injuries related to child abuse. The child, whose name hasn't been released, was hospitalized on Wednesday and died earlier Friday evening.

A man the child's mother was dating, Joseph Robert Patterson of Sioux Falls, was arrested and charged with assaulting an infant, charges that should be upgraded now that the child has passed. According to Argus Leader, the child was transported to the hospital after a 911 call came in reporting that he was "choking."

Officials say it was obvious the child's injuries weren't accidental and were the result of abuse. The Argus Leader said the death "involves blows, shaking or causing a child's head to sustain impact with an object in a manner that causes bleeding or swelling on the brain. The crime is punishable by up to 25 years in prison."

"This is a private matter and I'm just going to ask you all to respect my privacy, and that's all I'm going to say about the situation," Peterson said after practice Friday before his son died.

The Argus Leader also reports that this isn't the first time Patterson has been arrested for assault. He was previously arrested for assaulting another woman and her three-year-old child in 2012. According to the three-year-old's mom, Patterson spanked her three-year-old so hard that he needed ice for welts on his behind. The woman also said that Patterson threatened to kill her several times.

Patterson was sentenced with a one-year term on both charges, but his jail sentence was suspended.

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