Adrian Peterson and son Adrian Jr

The 2-year-old son of NFL star Adrian Peterson has died of massive head injuries suffered in a brutal attack by his mother’s live-in boyfriend.

According to Peterson’s father, the deceased boy was not Adrian Jr., who is pictured above with his father. Nelson Peterson confirmed the boy was Adrian Peterson’s secret Love child who was born out of wedlock. Adrian also has a daughter, Adeja.

The boy died Friday at a South Dakota hospital, where he was admitted to the PICU in critical condition.

According to USA Today, Peterson’s son was allegedly beaten by 27-year-old Joseph Patterson. Patterson is being held on $750,000 bond on charges of aggravated felony assault and battery of an infant. The prosecutor’s office is considering additional charges against Patterson.

Peterson, 28, is a running back for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. In a press conference hours before the child died, Peterson said he planned to play in Sunday’s game against Carolina.

UK’s Daily Mail reports Joseph Patterson called 911 on Wednesday to report the child had choked on a piece of candy. But paramedics responding to the scene immediately realized the child’s injuries were not caused by choking.

The child was rushed to a hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., where doctors determined he had been brutally beaten.


Patterson has a prior domestic abuse record with a different woman and child, having pleaded guilty to simple assault in an incident last year involving an adult female and juvenile male.

Sioux Falls police said Patterson recently started a relationship with the mother of the 2-year-old victim. Patterson appeared in court Friday morning in Canton, S.D. His bond had been set at $750,000 in cash before the boy’s death.

The incident occurred in Patterson’s apartment, where the boy had recently moved with his mother. Patterson called 911 on Wednesday evening to report a choking at the Platinum Valley apartment, but Lt. Blaine Larsen of the Sioux Falls Police Department said it became clear at the hospital that the boy’s injuries were not accidental.

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  • Photos: Associated Press and