In another twist, Rusty Hardin - Adrian Peterson's lawyer - revealed in an interview with ESPN1500 that Adrian Peterson was jumped on, and punched repeatedly above the eye. Straight from the horse's mouth:
"But apparently a police officer thought people weren't leaving as quickly as they could and in response to some words, I don't know yet what all was said, he all of a sudden jumps Adrian and when he does jump Adrian, a couple of others pile in and one guy actually pops him about two or three times right above the eye. Everybody is unanimous that Adrian never did anything to resist. Never pushed a guy, never shoved anybody, never did anything physical."
Further on in the interview, Hardin clarifies that these punches occurred after Peterson was already on the ground.
Hardin reportedly has 4 or 5 witnesses willing to corroborate this version of the events. The chronology of events is fairly confusing, and the story has evolved quickly from the onset.
Join us below the jump for some additional details
While it is natural to be suspicious of claims made by Hardin, who is clearly biased, the gravity of the accusations are such that it is difficult to believe that there isn't a case to be made (which does not suggest that it is necessarily the truth) for some level of impropriety by the members of the Houston Police department.
While moving forward, it's important to remember that there are no accusations being made about the department as a whole or the practices of the Houston Police department in general. Hardin has stressed his respect for the department and his successful work with them in the past, both as a prosecutor (15 years) and as a police trainer.
While these claims are consistent with previous claims about Peterson's treatment by the off-duty officer and his compatriots, the specificity of these accusations is somewhat startling and reveals a level of confidence in their version of events that might lead others to believe (more so than usual) that the initial version of events isn't quite accurate.
Further, Hardin confirmed that Peterson's arrest charges were somewhat baffling - Adrian's charge of resisting arrest was not accompanied with an initial charge, and that the arrest was for "nothing."
Nevertheless, the charge of resisting arrest is not uniformly accompanied with other charges. Officers will sometimes make poor arrests, but citizens must always have a reason not to resist officers, because it is not their judgment call at the time of the arrest to determine its wisdom. Still, the officer does not - again, according to Hardin - have a clear set of reasons for initially putting his hands on Peterson, where the arrest process "failed."
The clearest potential evidence in this case - security cameras from the nightclub - is missing, or never existed.
This missing piece of evidence will substantially change the ability of Houston to meet a sufficient burden of proof and could certainly dampen the likelihood of a countersuit.
At the end of the day, Hardin agreed that the crux of the case will revolve around whether or Peterson shoved the officer in question. Hardin believes that the balance of witnesses and corroborating stories is on his side. It remains to be seen whether or not the district attorney disagrees and decides to move forward with the suit.
If so, the process could take up to 6 months to resolve, but there's no reason to believe the process would drag itself out to be as long as that.
We'll know on Friday, at any rate. Prosecutors will come together and decide on how to proceed, while Hardin consults with them and the judge. Peterson's lawyer further claimed that we should not expect more details to leak between now and Friday, because most of those will be reserved for conversations with the Houston Police department and prosecutors.
Regardless of the disputed facts of the case, Hardin did also say one thing that might be universally agreed upon:
The social media makes it almost impossible, if you're the accused person of anything, whether it's a crime, or just embarrassing behavior or anything, to get out in front of a story. Once that thing hits the wires, it goes everywhere like a wildfire, and you spend all your time trying to catch up.