Chad Wheeler, a former Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman, was charged Wednesday following his arrest on suspicion of felony assault domestic violence, according to ESPN. The prosecutor's office in King County filed criminal charges of first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest against Wheeler. He is accused of choking his girlfriend twice until she was unconscious.
Wheeler is set to be arraigned on Feb. 9 and expected to enter a plea. Prosecutors asked for Wheeler to be placed on electronic home detention and for his ankle monitor device to have GPS monitoring. On Wednesday, Wheeler went to Twitter to announce he's stepping away from football.
"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 [the woman] 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 Seahawks released a statement, saying Wheeler is no longer part of the team. "The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence," the team said. "Our thoughts and support are with the victim. Chad is a free agent and no longer with the team." The statement also said, "We encourage Chad to get the help he needs."
According to the incident report obtained by ESPN, the woman called 9-1-1 from inside a locked bathroom. She said she was being "killed," and ran into the bathroom after Wheeler threw her onto a bed and choked her long enough to lose consciousness. When the woman regained consciousness, Wheeler pinned her down and choked her again. When she tried to escape, Wheeler "violently grab her left arm and rip her body back toward him." Wheeler was a member of the Seahawks for the last two seasons. He was signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2017.