On Friday, Minnesota Viking’s star Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son died in a South Dakota hospital after succumbing to injuries suffered from allegedly being abused by his mother’s boyfriend.
The little boy was taken to the hospital in critical condition on Wednesday when police found him unresponsive at the home of Joseph Robert Patterson, 27. Local police say Patterson called authorities that evening claiming that the boy, who he was there with alone, was choking in his home.
Hospital staff determined that the child suffered injuries to his head consistent with abuse. Police said Patterson, whom they described as the boyfriend of the injured child’s mother, was the only other person in the residence at the time and has been charged with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault. If convicted on the charges, both felonies, Patterson could face up to 40 years in prison and an $80,000 fine.
Peterson was reportedly by his son’s side at the time of his passing and was influential in ensuring that the little boy’s organs were donated to other children in immediate need. On Twitter, he expressed his appreciation for the overwhelming amount of support he and his family have received. He tweeted: “God bless everyone and thank u so much.”
TMZ is reporting that Peterson only recently learned that he had a son in South Dakota, and he was planning to visit him for the first time later this month. Reports say, the very first time Peterson met his son was at the hospital while he was on life support.
Our hearts go out to Peterson and his family during this incredibly difficult time.