Chad Wheeler of the Seattle Seahawks was arrested Saturday on domestic violence and assault charges after he allegedly choked his girlfriend unconscious because she refused to stand up and bow to him.
Wheeler allegedly grabbed the female victim, threw her by her neck on to the bed, and proceeded to strangle her, according to police reports cited by the NFL.
Wheeler allegedly removed one of his hands to press it against the victim’s mouth and nose — to prevent her from breathing — while continuing to strangling her, the article states.
The Seahawks waived the backup offensive tackle on Wednesday. He has since been released on bail.
Yahoo Sports reports that Wheeler had not been taking his prescribed medication for bipolar disorder.
Per the Yahoo article, Wheeler was surprised when the victim woke up. He said to her, “Wow, you’re alive?”
The female victim locked herself in the bathroom and called 911, and Yahoo reports that officers found Wheeler standing next to the victim. Wheeler was uncooperative when officers first tried to arrest him.
Wheeler is listed as 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds on the report. The victim is listed a is 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds. She went to the hospital to receive treatment for arm pain and other injuries, the article reads.
Wheeler appeared in King County District Court on Monday, and bail was set at $400,000. He was ordered not to have contact with the victim and to surrender all weapons, Yahoo reports.
King County Correctional Facility’s website shows his bail was posted, and he was released Tuesday morning.
The Seahawks said Wheeler is no longer with the team in a statement posted Wednesday afternoon — his player profile has also been removed from the team’s website.
“The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence,” the Seahawks’ statement reads. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim. Chad is a free agent and no longer with the team.”
The Seahawks’ statement “encourages” Wheeler to get the help he needs, and includes information for individuals experiencing mental health issues.
In a thread of tweets on Wednesday, Wheeler said the events that occurred were a “manic episode” and he is “deeply sorry for the pain and suffering” that he caused.
“It is time for me to walk away from football and get the help I need to never again pose a threat to another,” he tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “I cannot express my sorrow or remorse enough. I am truly ashamed.”
Wheeler’s actions did not sit well with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Dez Bryant, who also used his social media platform to let Wheeler know they should not cross paths.
“Chad wheeler if I ever run across you we are going toe to toe because I wouldn’t mind making the news breaking something across your fucking head then ask you are you still alive?..”
Wheeler, who went undrafted out of USC in 2017, signed with the New York Giants and appeared in 11 games, starting in five, his rookie season.
Wheeler started 14 games at right tackle then was waived/injured prior to the start of the 2019 season. Wheeler was later waived from New York’s injured reserve list with an injury settlement, then signed to Seattle’s practice squad in October 2019.
Wheeler’s NFL career with the Seahawks has been a non-steady fluctuation from the practice squad to the roster, and back to the practice squad, until his number is called on to join the 53-man roster when needed.
The Seattle Times reports Wheeler made $176,471 this season and spent much of it on the practice squad before being signed to the 53-player roster Dec. 12.