Peterson's attorney goes on the offensive

Adrian Peterson

Rusty Hardin, who is defending Adrian Peterson, said he has witnesses that will discount the Houston Police Department's account of Peterson resisting arrest early Saturday morning.

The attorney representing Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is confident that the Houston Police Department will not have a single independent witness to corroborate its account of Peterson's arrest on Saturday night.

Peterson is charged with a Class A misdemeanor offense of resisting arrest, and police say he shoved an off-duty police officer, causing him stumble.

"He never, ever pushed or shoved one of these officers," Rusty Hardin told KFAN radio in Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon.

According to witnesses interviewed by Hardin, who is representing the high-profile running back, Peterson was asked to leave a Houston nightclub and was leaving. He was being escorted out – "Adrian was calmly leaving," Hardin said – by the bouncer, whom Hardin said didn't touch Peterson. But an officer "jumped" the running back when he didn't think Peterson was leaving the club quickly enough.

Hardin told KFAN the officer put Peterson in a headlock. Hardin said Peterson suffered some minor injuries around his eye from being hit in the face "several times" and said his shoulders "were also wrenched, but they're going to be fine." None of the injuries, which were examined by a doctor, will prevent Peterson from playing football, Hardin said.

Although there were several videos that were examined through Hardin's investigation, he said none of them conclusively showed how the "melee" started. Instead, Peterson's defense will rest on the eyewitness accounts.

"Multiple witnesses" will say he didn't touch anyone, Hardin said.

TMZ.com reported that Live at Bayou Place manager Daniel Maher said Peterson was "ver (sic) drunk" and "a difficult customer all night" and "tried to intimidate the bartender" into selling to him after the bar was closed.

"There's not a single person they're going to bring in that will be able to say that – including (Maher)," Hardin said. "… We've talked to everyone. (Peterson) was a perfect gentleman."

Hardin called the TMZ report "a total fabrication" and said Maher didn't even see the start of the altercation.

The lawyer acknowledged that Peterson had been drinking that night but didn't know if he had too much and said he had a driver. According to Hardin, Peterson stopped in the club about 40 minutes before closing, which would seem to contradict what Maher reportedly told TMZ about Peterson being "a difficult customer all night."

Said Hardin: "He just doesn't act out like that. That's not him."

"He's really frustrated and upset by all of this because it didn't happen."

Peterson is scheduled to have his arraignment on Friday. Hardin estimated it would take another two to three weeks for prosecutors to decide if they wanted to proceed with the case, but if they don't reach "the right decision" then Peterson will go to trial.

"He is angry. He does intend to fight it and he feels he has been wrongfully charged," Hardin said.

"He's anxious to get his truth out."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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