Adrian Peterson's attorney begins defense

As we've been discussing for much of the day, Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson is prepared to mount a vigorous defense of a Class A misdemeanor he received after a nightclub incident Saturday morning in Houston.

His newly-hired attorney, Rusty Hardin, issued an aggressive statement Monday afternoon that insists Peterson did not shove an off-duty police officer, as charged by Houston police, and said he was the "victim, not the aggressor." Here is the full statement, courtesy ESPN's Josina Anderson:

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.

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.