Not the Adrian Peterson we know

July, 7, 2012
7/07/12
5:40
PM ET
OK, as promised, we now have some official details on the arrest of Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson from the Houston police department. The information is in our ESPN.com news story and there are also reports from the Houston Chronicle and 1500ESPN.com, but here is a quick rundown, one that is a significant departure from Peterson's otherwise sparkling off-field record:
    Peterson
  • Peterson was part of a group of people at a nightclub who were asked to leave by an off-duty police officer because it was closing time.
  • The officer returned to Peterson's group a few moments later because it hadn't exited yet. The group was asked again to leave.
  • Peterson told the officer the group had heard him the first time. Peterson then pushed the officer's shoulder hard enough to make him stumble.
  • Told he was under arrest, Peterson began yelling at the officer, pulled his hands away from handcuffs and "assumed a violent stance," according to the report given to 1500ESPN.com.
  • A second off-duty officer arrived to help. Peterson struggled with both officers, causing a third to join in.
  • Peterson was then arrested and jailed. He complained of shortness of breath when he arrived but was cleared by medical personnel.

There are a few things to point out here. First, initiating a physical altercation with a police officer, as alleged by Houston police, is a serious matter. I don't really want to get into a sociology debate about the behavior of police officers, etc., etc. Generally speaking, there aren't many situations where a person is going to be justified, legally or otherwise, in battling police officers. It usually ends badly for the battler.

Second, it's only fair to point out that most people who know Peterson would find this sort of incident way out of character. It doesn't mean he didn't do it, or that any subsequent punishment should be lightened, but unless he leads some kind of secret life, it's surprising to say the least.

Third, Peterson remains charged at this point only with a Class A misdemeanor.

Fourth, a reasonable person could look at the police version of the incident and wonder if additional charges could come later, but all we can do is speculate on that right now.

Fifth, this remains the first significant legal incident that Peterson has experienced in his NFL career. That will play into any disciplinary decision that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might make. It doesn't mean Peterson won't be suspended for this, but his chances for avoiding a suspension are better than if he had a significant prior incident on his record.

Peterson has a court hearing Friday in Houston. The Vikings report to training camp 13 days after that.

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