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Rusty Hardin: Adrian Peterson was a victim, not an aggressor

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings watches against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 18, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)

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It’s becoming increasingly clear that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson wants not only to be exonerated on charges that he resisted arrest in a Houston bar over the weekend, but also to demonstrate that he was the victim of mistreatment at the hands of the Houston Police Department.

The latest sign comes from a statement released by Rusty Hardin, the high-profile attorney Peterson hired today. Hardin described Peterson as a victim and suggested that his client had been manhandled by police officers for no reason at all.

“Adrian Peterson did not resist arrest this past Saturday morning and any suggestion that he pushed, struck or shoved a Houston Police Officer is a total fabrication,” Hardin said in a statement, via Josina Anderson of ESPN. “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 criticized not only the off-duty police officers who were working security at the bar Peterson went to on Friday night, but also the bar itself, for saying publicly that Peterson was drunk and causing trouble at the establishment.

“We have been investigating what happened since Saturday afternoon, and it is absolutely clear to me that the charges should not have been filed, and the Bayou Club owes Adrian an apology for having put out a totally false version of what happened,” Hardin said. “Adrian Peterson does not act the way he has been described in the initial reports, and he did not act that way Saturday morning. He was only in that club for 30 to 40 minutes, was never objectionable to other patrons, and never physically resisted any police officer. 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. Adrian looks forward to his day in court.”

Given Hardin’s comments, Peterson may be planning not only a day in court to face the charges of resisting arrest, but more days in court to sue the Houston Police Department.