Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson was a victim, not the aggressor, during an altercation with authorities that led to his arrest at a Houston night club over the weekend, his attorney said Monday.
Peterson, a Texas native who makes his offseason home in Houston, was arrested and taken to jail early Saturday morning and charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. Police said he pushed an off-duty police officer who was working security at the club. An initial court appearance is set for Friday.
Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, called the charge and the allegation that he shoved the officer "a total fabrication."
"He, in fact, was struck at least twice in the face for absolutely no legitimate reason, and when all the evidence is impartially reviewed, it will clearly show Adrian was the victim, not the aggressor," Hardin said in a statement.
Houston police declined comment on the details.
"It's now a matter for the courts," police spokesman Kese Smith said.
Hardin said the Bayou Club owes Peterson an apology after comments from a manager surfaced alleging that Peterson was drunk, unruly and disrespectful to security officers trying to get him to leave at closing time.
"He was only in that club for 30 to 40 minutes, was never objectionable to other patrons, and never physically resisted any police officer," Hardin said. "Adrian is extremely upset about these false allegations. These charges are totally at odds with the way he has conducted himself throughout his career, and he asks that his fans and the public at large reserve judgment until they hear all the facts."
Aside from the occasional speeding ticket, Peterson has been a model citizen ever since he was drafted by the Vikings in 2007. On a team that has often struggled with players getting arrested or causing trouble off the field, Peterson has taken pride in conducting himself with dignity and representing the franchise in a positive light.
"Thank you for waiting for the facts," Peterson tweeted on Sunday. "Truth will surface."
Peterson has been one of the most dynamic players in the NFL over the last five years, and is rehabbing a torn ACL in his left knee in hopes of being ready for the start of the upcoming season.
Hardin represented Roger Clemens in his recent perjury case. Clemens was charged with lying to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs. He was retried this year and found not guilty on all counts.
Associated Press writer Terry Wallace in Dallas contributed to this report.