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Kelly Smith,Star Tribune, Published July 09 2012

Vikings’ Peterson arrested following scuffle with police

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson spent Saturday morning in a Houston jail after police say he pushed an officer and resisted arrest at a nightclub.

The incident, which followed several other arrests by his teammates in the past year, landed Peterson in custody until he posted a $1,000 bond a few hours later. He now awaits a Friday appearance in Harris County Criminal Court.

Police say the 27-year-old Texas native was with a group of people sitting next to the bar at Live! at Bayou Place in downtown Houston. At 2 a.m., an off-duty police officer working security told them they had to leave because the club was closing. The officer left the group to tell other clubgoers to exit, and when he returned a short time later, Peterson and the group hadn’t moved, Houston police spokesman Kese Smith said.

The officer again asked the group to leave.

“Peterson told the officer the group had heard them the first time and pushed him in the shoulder causing him to stumble,” Smith said.

The officer told Peterson that he was under arrest, but Peterson began yelling, struggling as the officer attempted to put on handcuffs and ignoring commands to stop resisting, Smith said. Peterson pulled away from the officer “and assumed a violent stance,” Smith said.

A second officer working security at the club began to assist, but it took a third police officer also working security to detain the 6-foot-1, 217-pound football player.

“He was struggling the whole time,” Smith said.

It wasn’t clear whether alcohol played a factor in the incident, Smith added. TMZ.com reported that the nightclub’s general manager, Daniel Maher, said Peterson had been drinking “and was a difficult customer all night.”

Smith was not aware of other arrests Saturday at the nightclub, located in a reputable part of downtown Houston.

Once at jail, Peterson complained of shortness of breath but was determined to be “medically fine,” Smith said.

Peterson, who lists an Oklahoma address, was then booked and formally charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. Smith said that Peterson could have been charged with assaulting an officer, but the district attorney approved the single charge.

While many NFL players live and work in the city, Smith said, “a vast majority conduct themselves in a responsible manner.”

Team, players react

Jeff Anderson, a public relations official for the Vikings, said the team wouldn’t comment until it knew more. “We’re aware of the situation and working to gather more information,” Anderson said.

Quarterback Christian Ponder said on Saturday that he, too, didn’t know the details of the incident, but that Peterson is the “nicest guy” and “one of our biggest leaders.”

“Obviously he’s probably a little embarrassed by this, but he’s a guy we count on,” Ponder said. “We all have made mistakes. He’ll learn from it. We’ll be all right.”

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe added that any time an NFL athlete is involved with an arrest, it makes big news, “but here with Adrian, everyone needs to take a breath and wait for some sort of concrete details before getting worked up.”

Traffic troubles previously

Peterson’s previous trouble with the law involved traffic violations. In 2006, he was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving, according to Texas records. In Minnesota, he received a speeding ticket in 2009 while driving 109 miles per hour in a 55-mph-zone in Edina. In 2011, he was ticketed in Eden Prairie for not wearing a seat belt.

Drafted by the Vikings in 2007 out of the University of Oklahoma, Peterson won Rookie of the Year honors in his first season, and since has become the fulcrum of the Vikings offense. In only five years, he has become the Vikings’ second all-time leading rusher with 6,752 yards.

However, as the Vikings’ dismal 2011 season came to a close, Peterson suffered a major knee injury in a game against the Washington Redskins. It’s still not clear whether his knee will be rehabilitated in time for this season’s opening game.

Peterson didn’t comment publicly Saturday about the arrest, but tweeted Friday: “Looking forward to reporting to training camp on July 26. Hard work and Dedication.”

Saturday’s incident follows several other Vikings-related arrests in the past year.

Earlier this year, cornerback Chris Cook was acquitted in a felony domestic assault case. Last month, Vikings fullback Jerome Felton was charged with driving while impaired in Eden Prairie, and in April, running back Caleb King was arrested in an assault in Anoka County. The Vikings subsequently released King.

In April, General Manager Rick Spielman said then that, with the personnel incidents, the team takes “each situation as it comes in.”

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©2012 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)