WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Holden and Danny were joined Tuesday by Adrian Peterson’s defense lawyer Rusty Hardin, who said Peterson “just didn’t do anything wrong” during a run-in with off-duty police officers in a Houston nightclub last weekend.
Minnesota Vikings running back and Houston resident Peterson was at a downtown Houston nightclub early Saturday morning when an off-duty Houston police officer working security, who identified himself as an officer, asked Peterson and a group of people he was with to leave because the club had closed, according to Houston Police Department Spokesperson Kese Smith.
The officer then left to tell other patrons to leave the club before returning to Peterson’s group again to tell it to leave. Smith said Peterson turned around and told the officer that he heard him the first time and pushed the officer in the shoulder, causing him to stumble. The officer told Peterson he was under arrest and to put his hands behind his back.
Peterson began yelling, pulled away and “assumed an aggressive stance,” Smith said, so another off-duty officer came to help. He continued to struggle with both until a third off-duty officer came and Peterson was handcuffed and taken to a Houston jail on charges of resisting arrest, which is a misdemeanor.
Hardin, of Rusty Hardin & Associates, P.C., told Holden and Danny that there was no legitimate basis for Peterson to be arrested because he did not physically resist.
“He didn’t resist and he didn’t push, shove or hit any police officer,” Hardin said. “There were no witnesses that saw him do anything – push, shove or anything.”
Hardin also said Peterson was “hit several times himself” near his eye while the officers tried to arrest him. On Sunday, when Hardin said he first saw Peterson, he said Peterson had a “mouse under his eye where one of the officers popped him a couple of times in the face.”
Peterson was released from jail Saturday on a $1,000 bond. Peterson is due in court this Friday, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Smith told NFL.com and NFL Network on Monday that he would probably end up with a fine because Peterson’s charge is a misdemeanor.
According to NFL.com, first-time offenders of the NFL’s conduct policy are usually not suspended for something like resisting arrest. NFL.com also reported there is a slim chance that the Vikings also discipline Peterson.
“We all know that some athletes act out and do things they’re not supposed to be doing – and no one is saying that doesn’t sometimes happen – that’s totally contrary to everything Adrian’s ever been about and is. He just didn’t do anything wrong that night,” Hardin said.
The 27-year-old player has no known prior record, according to NFL.com.
Danny asked if the incident was just a case of Peterson being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“What you have is a police officer who overreacted, and sometimes when that happens they have to cover the back of their lap, and that’s what happened here,” Hardin said. “When it’s all out and everybody hears the evidence, people will be real comfortable that Adrian didn’t do what he’s charged with doing.”
Danny then asked if there was anything that Peterson should have done differently, such as leaving the nightclub quicker.
“In retrospect, probably … but words themselves are not a basis for arresting somebody. But in retrospect, should he not have said anything back to him, well maybe, but I think that facts are going to show that the officer earned it,” Hardin said.
Holden asked if the charges against Peterson are dropped, could he pursue a lawsuit against the Houston Police Department.
“He always could, but I think it’s way premature for anybody to talk about those kind of things, we wanna get this taken care of first and then he can decide what he wants to do,” Hardin said.
Danny then ended the discussion of Peterson by asking why Hardin, who represented Roger Clemens in his recent perjury case and found not guilty on all counts, is representing the Vikings player seeing as the case is pretty much an open and shut case.
“We handle an awful lot of low-profile cases, and the majority of stuff we do nobody ever hears about … I think he just wanted to get someone that he was comfortable that could help him. There are hundreds of other lawyers in Houston that could do just as well or a better job; he happened to call us,” Hardin said.