The Seattle Seahawks waived tackle Chad Wheeler on Wednesday, days after an arrest for an alleged assault in a domestic violence incident against his girlfriend.
Wheeler is alleged to have strangled his girlfriend into a state of unconsciousness and inflicted many injuries upon her before police intervention.
“The Seahawks are saddened by the details merging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence. Our thoughts and support are with the victim. Chad is a free agent and no longer with the team,” the team said in a statement.
Wheeler was set to be a restricted free agent in March when his contract expired. The team waiving him cuts ties now altogether.
In an unverified Twitter account seemingly belonging to Wheeler, he released a statement regarding the incident apologizing for his actions and saying he’s leaving football to get the help he needs.
“Events happened over the weekend that transpired from a manic episode,” Wheeler wrote. “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 reportedly suffers from bi-polar disorder but had not been taking his medication.
Per Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times, Wheeler is alleged to have demanded his girlfriend bow to him and attacked her when she refused. He threw her down and strangled her unconscious. Upon regaining consciousness, Wheeler allegedly remarked “Wow, you’re alive?” The victim then locked herself in the bathroom but Wheeler managed to gain entry and police found the two in the bathroom when they forced their way into the apartment.
The statement from the Seahawks also implored Wheeler to seek the help he needs and provided resources for domestic violence and mental health circumstances.
“If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
“We encourage Chad to get the help he needs. If you are experiencing mental health issues, please reach out for help. For immediate help with a mental health crisis or thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.”
Per Tim Booth of the Associated Press, Wheeler was charged Wednesday evening with first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest by the King County Prosecutor's Office.
Wheeler, a reserve tackle for the Seahawks, played in five games this season for the team due to injuries at right tackle to Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi and Jamarco Jones.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 13: Chris Carson #32 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with Chad Wheeler #75 after scoring a 5 yard touchdown against the New York Jets during the second quarter in the game at Lumen Field on December 13, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)