The ex-girlfriend of former Seattle Seahawks player Chad Wheeler is speaking out about his alleged attack on her, saying she wanted to share her story so that other victims of abuse “don’t feel alone.”
Alleah Taylor, 27, opened up about the brutal ordeal she endured Jan. 22 after refusing to “bow” to Wheeler in a new interview with “CBS This Morning.”
“He, he stood up. And he told me to bow down. And I asked him why. And he didn’t respond,” an emotional Taylor told the news outlet. “He just told me to bow down again. And I told him no. And he immediately grabbed my neck. And that’s when things began.”
Taylor said the 310-pound former offensive lineman began to choke her with both hands. At one point, Wheeler allegedly used one hand to smash her nose and mouth to “stop her from breathing” as he continued to choke her, according to a Kent Police report obtained by Oxygen.com.
“I remember looking up and asking him, ‘Please stop Chad, it’s me,” and I just immediately knew the look in his eyes that was it,” Taylor said.
She said she lost consciousness twice during the attack. After it was over, she said Wheeler calmly proceeded to drink a smoothie as she lay unconscious on the bed.
When she regained consciousness, she said she touched her face and realized she was bleeding.
“I remember getting up and running to the bathroom,” she said. “Chad was standing by the bed, by the doorway. And he was sipping his smoothie and was like, ‘Wow, you’re, you’re still alive,” she said.
Taylor locked herself in the bathroom of the apartment and called 911.
“Please help me now,” she quietly told the 911 dispatcher in a recording obtained by “CBS This Morning.” “I’m gonna die.”
Taylor also placed calls to her family and Wheeler’s father for help.
Wheeler continued his meal before eventually forcing his way into the bathroom, where Kent Police discovered him and Taylor when they arrived at the apartment.
Wheeler was holding Taylor around the chest, according to the police report. It took three officers to subdue the football player during a frenetic struggle in the cramped bathroom.
“As the three of us (with a combined weight of about 700 pounds) were on top of Chad, I could feel him lifting his body up like he was pushing up to get away,” one officer wrote in the reports. “Chad, who's massive size took up the whole length and width of the bathroom floor was able to lift his body about three to six inches temporarily with what appeared to [be] little effort from him. Chad was continually tensing up and not complying with verbal commands.”
Officers were eventually able to control him enough to put on double cuffs before leading him away.
Taylor said she'd been completely caught off-guard because the couple had barely even had an argument during their six-month courtship.
“We were, like, best friends. We did everything together,” she told the news outlet. “I even introduced him to my family. We would babysit my nephew together.”
She's now left with painful injuries, she said.
“I still have to get my concussion checked,” she said. “I have bolts, and steel, and a steel plate I’m gonna have forever in my arm. … I’m gonna have … to deal with this the rest of my life.”
Taylor said she was aware Wheeler had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but said she isn’t sure whether she believes that had played a role in her attack.
“He went and ate dinner after doing this to me,” she said. “And he didn’t take the same approach with the cops as he did with me.”
In a series of now-deleted messages on Twitter, Wheeler offered a vague apology, saying he had been having a “manic episode.”
“I apologize profusely for the turmoil that I have caused to my family, teammates, fans and those closest to me,” he wrote. “The most important thing right now is that (the victim) gets the care she needs and I get help. Both are happening.”
Wheeler has been charged with first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest. He has pleaded not guilty to all three charges against him, ESPN reports.
After his arrest, the Seahawks waived Wheeler after issuing a statement saying they “strongly condemn domestic violence,” according to NFL.com.
Taylor appeared in court at Wheeler’s hearing, with her injured arm bandaged in a sling.
"I didn't want him to think that he had that power over me. That I wasn't going to defend myself,” she said of her decision to appear in person. “I thought, how easy would that be for him and his legal team to be able to say whatever they want without having to look me in the eye.”
Taylor believes her former boyfriend should “definitely” serve time behind bars and said she wanted to come forward to share her story in the hopes of helping others.
“I really feel like God has blessed me with another chance. ... And I wanna try to use the time I've been blessed with ... to help other people. And to get the story out. And make sure people don't feel alone. And that this doesn't happen again," she said.
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