The Seattle Seahawks said Wednesday that offensive lineman Chad Wheeler is no longer a member of the team, after new details emerged about the events that prompted his Saturday arrest on suspicion of felony domestic violence related to a reported assault on his girlfriend over the weekend.
Wheeler, 27, is accused of choking his girlfriend until she lost consciousness, according to a police report. Wheeler then allegedly expressed shock that she survived the ordeal.
Police responded to a 911 call on Friday from a woman who was locked in the bathroom in a suburban Seattle residence and claimed she was being “killed.” The woman said she ran to the bathroom to get away from Wheeler after he threw her onto the bed and choked her until she lost consciousness, The Seattle Times reported.
Wheeler allegedly used one hand to cover the woman’s nose and mouth to stop her from breathing while continuing to choke her with his other hand.
Police say after the woman woke up, Wheeler said, “Wow, you’re alive?” as he stood beside the bed.
When police arrived, Wheeler was standing beside the woman in the bathroom because he had picked the lock on the door to enter.
Wheeler was jailed Monday night and held on $400,000 bond and ordered not to contact the victim and to surrender any weapons. He was released Tuesday morning after posting bail. A charging decision is expected to be made by the King County Prosecutor’s Office late Wednesday.
According to police, the altercation occurred after Wheeler asked the woman to bow down to him. She was taken to the hospital and treated for a dislocated shoulder.
“The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence,” the team said in a statement. “Our thoughts and support are with the victim. Chad is a free agent and no longer with the team.”
Wheeler, who stands 6 feet 7 and weighs 310 pounds, said in a series of tweets Wednesday that the violent attack was related to his mental health issues.
“Events happened over the weekend that transpired from a manic episode. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering that I have caused to Alleah and her family.
I apologize profusely for the turmoil that I have caused to my family, teammates, fans and those closest to me. The most important thing right now is that Alleah gets the care she needs and I get help. Both are happening.
It is time for me to walk away from football and get the help I need to never again pose a threat to another. I cannot express my sorrow or remorse enough. I am truly ashamed.”
Wheeler has allegedly stopped taking his bipolar medication in the days leading up to the attack.
On social media, photos of a bloodied and battered Black woman purported to be the victim circulated widely.
Images of text messages allegedly sent by the woman detail Wheeler’s behavior during the attack also spread online.
“He thought I was dead on my bed and continued to eat dinner,” the message read. “When I ran into the bathroom, he said, ‘Wow, you’re still alive’ while sipping on a smoothie.”
Users reacted to the incident, condemning Wheeler’s alleged actions.
Jemele Hill called for the case to be investigated as a hate crime.
“It is time for me to walk away from football and get the help I need to never again pose a threat to another,” Wheeler said on Twitter. “I cannot express my sorrow or remorse enough. I am truly ashamed.
Wheeler played for the Giants from 2017 to 2019, and played five games for the Seahawks in 2020.