When the fuzzy reports about Adrian Peterson’s arrest first started to emerge Saturday, as the day unfolded I tried to make an educated guess about who was the primary douche in a scenario that has plenty of idiocy, either from Peterson for being a drunken fool, or from the police for being heroes during a time when there was no villain to be apprehended. The only crime in the club was likely a desire for water.
As is the natural order of things during a case of this nature where details are shady and non-existent at first, it’s becoming quite clear that pointing a finger in any one direction is a futile effort. Someone did something unacceptable to someone, but right now it’s the word of Peterson against the recollection of the events by the police and the club owner, and it’s impossible for us to arrive at a definitive conclusion until more information surfaces.
The spiral into the he said/she said bickering is inevitable, and so was the copout in the previous sentence about more information. But there’s been a unique, odd turn this afternoon. Earlier today Peterson hired a lawyer, even though he’s surely aware that the Houston PD is considering his offense to be a very minor one, and it’s been reported that at most he’d get a fine.
The lawyer Peterson hired isn’t just some slack-jawed yokel bent on doing his best Lionel Hutz impersonation by using the tie defense.
He hired Rusty Hardin. You know, the guy who just defended Roger Clemens.
You’re wondering the same thing we’re all wondering. If this is shut a simple, petty fine, why would Peterson hire a high-priced big wheel lawyer? There’s a simple answer to that simple question.
This case isn’t so easy after all, and Peterson is very, very pissed. He’s fully aware that even the perception that he had a moment of drunken stupidity which ended in handcuffs could seriously damage his reputation, possibly to the point that he losses some endorsement opportunities. He knows and is confident in the truth, and he needs to salvage his public image. Now.
The club owner maintains that Peterson was belligerent prior to being removed from his establishment, while the police say that the Vikings running back shoved an off-duty officer, which started the ensuing mini melee. That ended in Peterson’s arrest, and one of the happiest mugshots of all time.
Peterson’s few comments have been contained in two tweets so far, which included a quality Winston Churchill quote, and his continued insistence that the truth will emerge. But his lawyer has been more than happy to talk on his behalf, because that’s what lawyers do.
Hardin issued a statement this afternoon, and vehemently denied the accusations against his client.
“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. 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.”
He continued, saying the Bayou Club where the incident occurred should apologize.
“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. 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.”
Anyone willing to shrug those words off as the kind of harsh, damning blather typical of a lawyer needs to consider this point made by Peterson’s father. Sure, he’s sort of a little biased too, but he’s also right.
“The officer said he pushed him, shoved him, then why is he not charged with assault?” Only charged with resisting arrest. Doesn’t make sense.”
Through the murkiness and conflicting reports, that’s a puzzling question which remains unanswered, and it’s rooted in the same police department that essentially tasered former Texans guard Fred Weary for looking at two police officers in a cruiser. The look he gave them wasn’t the right one.