Joseph Patterson stands accused of killing the 2-year-old son of Adrian Peterson, and police records show he is no stranger to violence.
The 27-year-old South Dakota man was initially charged with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault in the beating that sent the young boy to a hospital in critical condition. After Peterson’s son died late Friday evening, those charges are expected to be upgraded.
Police records show that Joseph Patterson has a history of violence. Last year he was given a suspended sentence for simple domestic assault and violation of domestic abuse bond, both misdemeanor charges.
Police said Patterson called 911 to say the child was choking, but when police arrived they found the boy in critical condition. Patterson was the only one home with the boy when the injuries occurred.
“That initial exam, there’s information there that the doctors believe that the injuries were consistent with child abuse,” said Sam Clemons of the Sioux Falls police while the boy was still clinging to life. “They were head injuries. I don’t have the exact one or [what] the specific injuries are and waiting on tests to come back.”
Adrian Peterson traveled to South Dakota to see the boy in the wake of the beating, but returned to the Minnesota VIkings on Friday morning. He had originally said he planned to play on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, but has not commented on the game since the boy’s death.
Peterson has received many supportive messages since news of his son’s death emerged. Miami Heat star LeBron James sent his condolences but also harsh words for Joseph Patterson.
“So Damn sad man!” the Miami Heat star tweeted. “Makes no sense at all. Innocent kid with dreams gets taking away by a coward with no dreams at all! Smh #SickForAP.”
Police have not yet announced when charges could be upgraded for Joseph Patterson.