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Patterson Case Timeline

June 25, 2014, 5:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Patterson Case Timeline
Joseph Patterson


Joseph Patterson made national headlines back in October of last year when he was arrested and charged with killing Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's son.

It was a case that not only shocked NFL players, coaches and fans, but it also brought the Sioux Falls community together to pray for the little boy and his mother.

Police arrested Patterson on October 10 on assault charges. Patterson was alone with two-year-old Tyrese Ruffin the night before at a southwest Sioux Falls apartment. Police say that's when the assault happened.

The medical call came in as a choking. But when the unresponsive toddler was brought to the hospital, doctors determined his head injuries were the result of an assault, not an accident.

"They alerted police about their concerns and detectives were called in and detectives ended up talking to quite a few people, trying to figure out exactly what happened to cause the injuries to the child," Sioux Falls Police public information officer Sam Clemens said.

That same day it was reported that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was in Sioux Falls on a personal matter. He posed for this picture outside a local bar with a fan who posted it on Facebook.

KELOLAND News later learned, Peterson was in Sioux Falls to say good-bye to his son before the boy was taken off the respirator.

That evening, a large group of supporters gathered in Sioux Falls at Sertoma Park to hold a candlelight vigil for little Tyrese, a boy many of them had never met.

"Just look at the people around, you can see the pain on some people's faces, and with me, I didn't know the family at all, but I have two small children, and just the fact that they could be there one morning and then gone the next it's just, it's devastating," one local supporter said.

The next day, as the news spread worldwide about the tragedy, Peterson returned to practice and addressed the media for the first time about his loss.

"I really appreciate all of the support that I've been receiving from the fans and the Vikings organization. This is a private matter and I would ask that you please respect my privacy," Peterson said.

Peterson went on to say he finds comfort in his normal football routine.

"Football is something I'll always fall back on. It gets me through tough times. Being around the guys here, that's what I need," Peterson said.

Tyrese died on October 12, three days after he was put in the hospital.

On October 21, Patterson was indicted on murder and manslaughter charges out of Lincoln County.

He was released on bond on October 29.

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