NFL superstar Adrian Peterson doesn't just want his bad night in Houston to go away.
The Minnesota Vikings running back made it clear on Monday that he plans to try and fight to clear his name. For Peterson has hired Houston's own super attorney Rusty Hardin to represent him in a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge stemming from his late Friday night/early Saturday morning arrest at Live!, a Bayou Place nightclub. (ESPN was first to report the Hardin hiring).
You don't hire Rusty Hardin to work out a simple fine. You hire Rusty Hardin to get your version of the story out there for the world.
If Peterson simply wanted to put the incident behind him, he likely could have paid a fine after his first court appearance this Friday and be done with it, according to legal observers.
Instead, Peterson appears to be standing behind his tweets (he tweeted the Winston Churchill quote: "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on" on Sunday). You don't hire Rusty Hardin to work out a simple fine. You hire Rusty Hardin to get your version of the story out there for the world (see Roger Clemens).
And Hardin wasted little time in taking the offensive.
"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. "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 went on to say that the nightclub owes Peterson an apology.
"Adrian is extremely upset about these false allegations," Hardin said. "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."
Part of Peterson's story was already making the rounds. ProFootball Talk has an anonymous source on record saying that Peterson was already walking to the exit like the police asked when an officer jumped on him from behind and started an incident that eventually required three cops to take down the 6-foot-1, 217-pound football star.
That differs sharply with the official Houston Police Department (HPD) report of the incident, which details Peterson shoving an off-duty police officer working security at the club after the officer asked Peterson, his wife and his friends to leave the club after closing time. Live! general manager Daniel Maher also told TMZ that Peterson was extremely drunk, that he demanded another drink after closing time and that he made a threatening gesture toward the cops present.
With Hardin on the case, you can bet that the back-and-forth between Peterson's camp and the HPD — and the media attention — is only beginning.
A source tells CultureMap that ESPN's already reserved a live truck for Friday's hearing.