Chad Wheeler, a former Seattle Seahawks reserve tackle, faces several charges after he allegedly attacked his girlfriend and resisted arrest Jan. 22 in their Kent apartment.
King County prosecutors charged Wheeler, 27, on Wednesday, Jan. 27 with first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest, according to court documents.
After the arrest of Wheeler, the Seahawks announced Jan. 27 that they would not be re-signing the tackle, who is a free agent.
“The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence arrest,” according to the statement. “Our thoughts and support are with the victim. Chad is a free agent and no longer with the team.”
Wheeler had his first court appearance on Monday, Jan. 25 when the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office asked a judge to hold him on $500,000 bail. The judge set bail at $400,000.
Wheeler posted bail and was released the morning of Jan. 26, according to county jail records. He was booked into jail at 1:19 a.m. on Jan. 23.
With the filing of charges, prosecutors asked a judge require Wheeler be placed on electronic home detention, and that his ankle monitoring device be equipped with GPS monitoring, according to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. That request is expected to be addressed at Wheeler’s next court appearance. He is scheduled to appear Feb. 1 in the GA courtroom of the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent for an arraignment where he is expected to enter a plea.
According to court documents, Wheeler reportedly attacked his girlfriend at about 9:46 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22 in their Kent apartment at the Berkeley Heights Apartments, 22804 90th Way S., that they have shared since November. Officers responded to multiple 911 calls, including one from Wheeler’s girlfriend who reported that she was being “killed.”
Officers arrived at the apartment and heard screaming from inside. Officers forced their way into the apartment and saw a pool of blood on a bed comforter adjacent to a bathroom, where they found Wheeler and the girlfriend. Her face was covered in blood and her left arm limp at her side.
Wheeler was standing behind her and said, “Sorry, I don’t beat women,” as officers tried to detain him. Wheeler, who is 6 feet 7 inches and weighs 310 pounds, battled with officers to stop them from handcuffing him, according to court documents. He fought off three officers in the bathroom and was only detained after officers used hand strikes and fired Tasers at him.
Paramedics transported the woman to Valley Medical Center in Renton. She suffered a fractured left arm and dislocated elbow. She had experienced chest pain and had difficulty breathing. She also had a swollen face.
“During this incident, the defendant viciously attacked the victim in her bedroom strangling her at times with both hands,” wrote Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jason Brookhyser in charging documents. “At one point, the defendant forced his fingers into the victim’s mouth and down her throat, and then crushed his hand down over her nose and mouth; all while continuing to squeeze her throat with his other hand. The strangulation continued until the victim lost consciousness.”
The girlfriend locked herself in the bathroom after she regained consciousness and sent text messages to friends and family asking that they call 911, not wanting to make any voice calls herself for fear of Wheeler hearing. When she tried to flee out of the second door to the bathroom, Wheeler met her at the door. Officers then arrived and heard the woman screaming.
The girlfriend told police she believed Wheeler suffered from bi-polar disorder and had not been taking his medication.
If you know someone who needs a protection order, those can now be filed remotely in King County. Additional information is available at: http://protectionorder.org/.