Shortly after the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday issued a strong statement regarding the felony arrest of their now former offensive lineman Chad Wheeler, who allegedly choked his girlfriend until she lost consciousness, the team cut the four-year veteran days after the incident.
Wheeler, who turned 27 last week, was released from jail Tuesday on $400,000 bail, three days after he was arrested on suspicion of felony assault-domestic violence. The King County prosecutor's office told ESPN that charges are expected Wednesday afternoon after a hearing.
Wheeler, a restricted free agent, played in five games for the Seahawks this past season after originally signing with the team in October 2019 when he joined its practice squad.
"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. ... We encourage Chad to get the help he needs."
Upon his official release, Wheeler also posted a series of messages to his Twitter account, both apologizing to his alleged victim and saying he was stepping away from football.
"Events happened over the weekend from a manic episode," Wheeler wrote. "I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering that I have caused to [the woman's name] 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 [the woman] 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."
The police report said Wheeler threw the woman on the bed and strangled her until she lost consciousness. After the woman regained consciousness, Wheeler said, "Wow, you're alive?" according to the report. She fled to a bathroom to call 911, but Wheeler picked the lock to the bathroom.
Police eventually arrived and broke into the house and found Wheeler in the bathroom with the woman.
The report says the incident began when Wheeler asked the woman to bow to him. When she refused, that's when the alleged attack began.
Wheeler had not been taking his medications for bipolar disorder and had a "manic episode" prior to the alleged attack, the woman told police.
The woman was taken to Valley Medical Center in Kent, Wash., because of arm pain, per the police report.
Originally an undrafted free agent signed by the New York Giants out of the University of Southern California, Wheeler played 27 of a possible 32 games with 19 starts in the 2017 and 2018 seasons before being waived by the Giants prior to the start of the 2019 season.
--Field Level Media