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Former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Chad Wheeler obliquely acknowledged the serious domestic violence allegations against him in a series of tweets after being accused of assaulting his girlfriend, choking her to the point of passing out over the weekend.
The 27-year-old tackle was taken into custody on suspicion of domestic violence on Saturday, the Seattle Times reported. He was booked into a King County jail at 1:19 a.m. on Jan. 23, according to the newspaper.
Kent Police responded to an apartment after receiving reports that a woman had locked herself in a bathroom after a “physical fight” with her boyfriend. She told emergency dispatchers she was being “killed.” Police said they found her screaming inside the bathroom alongside Wheeler.
Wheeler was uncooperative and declined to speak with investigators, a police report stated.
The unidentified victim suffered a dislocated arm and lost blood. She was transported to Valley Medical Center in Kent, authorities said.
Wheeler allegedly strangled his girlfriend until she passed out after she refused to bow to him. The pro athlete was previously diagnosed with for bipolar disorder but wasn’t taking his medication at the time of the suspected assault, police said.
When the woman regained consciousness, Wheeler appeared astonished she’d survived the violent ordeal, the arrest report stated.
“Wow you’re alive?” Wheeler allegedly said after she woke up, NBC Sports reported.
In a series of tweets Wednesday afternoon, Wheeler apologized, blaming the "events that transpired" on a “manic episode."
“I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering that I have caused to [the victim] and her family,” Wheeler wrote. “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 victim] gets the care she needs and I get help. Both are happening.”
He stated he was “truly ashamed” and planned to “walk away from football.”
“I cannot express my sorrow or remorse enough,” Wheeler added.
Disturbing photos purportedly showing Wheeler’s battered girlfriend in a hospital bed were later widely circulated on social media.
Following the incident, the Seahawks announced Wheeler had been waived.
“The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of violence,” the team said in a statement. “Our thoughts and support are with the victim.”
“We encourage Chad to get the help he needs,” the Seahawks added.
Wheeler launched his pro football career in 2017 when he joined the New York Giants. The Seahawks signed the offensive tackle as a backup in 2019. He played a total of five games last season.
Wheeler’s bail was set at $400,000, the Seattle Times reported. A judge ordered he not have any contact with the victim and that he turn over all weapons in his possession.
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