SEATTLE (CBSLA/AP) — A former USC offensive lineman and Santa Monica High graduate was charged Wednesday with domestic violence in Washington state and subsequently cut by his NFL team.
Chad Wheeler, 27, was charged in King County with first-degree domestic violence assault, unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest following his arrest last weekend.READ MORE: 60 Minutes Preview: Hi-Tech Chinook Helicopters Could Be Game-Changer In Fight Against Wildfires
Wheeler, who was playing for the Seattle Seahawks, was immediately cut by the team.
“The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence,” the Seahawks said in a statement. “Our thoughts and support are with the victim. Chad is a free agent and no longer with the team.”
Wheeler was arrested by police in the Seattle suburb of Kent, Wash., and booked into the King County Jail early Saturday. He had an initial court appearance Monday and was released from jail Tuesday after posting $400,000 bond.
Officers went to a residence in Kent on Friday night after the victim and family members called 911 and reported the victim had locked herself in a bathroom after being attacked, according to the case file.
Arriving officers heard a woman screaming, forced their way into the apartment and broke down the door to the locked bathroom, documents said. Police found Wheeler with the woman, who was crying with her face covered in blood and her arm hanging limply at her side, court records say.
The officers eventually detained Wheeler, who was uncooperative and yelled, “Sorry!” and “I don’t beat women!” according to court documents. A Taser was also used against Wheeler, which the charging documents said had little effect.
At a hospital, the woman told investigators Wheeler told her to stand up and bow to him and when she refused, he threw her on the bed, choking her and trying to smother her, court documents say.
She began to lose consciousness and tried to fight back but Wheeler grabbed her arm and twisted it, the court file says. She then lost consciousness for an unknown length of time.READ MORE: Supporters Of Female Firefighting Pilot Desiree Horton Rally In Irvine, Demanding She Be Rehired
When she regained consciousness, the woman saw Wheeler by the bed and he said, “Wow, you’re alive?” Then she ran into the bathroom, where she called her family and 911, according to the case file.
Wheeler picked the lock to the bathroom and entered, then began apologizing. Officers arrived at the scene and arrested Wheeler.
Charging documents say the woman had a fractured humerus bone and dislocated elbow in her left arm. She also had lesions on her neck, some in the shape of fingermarks.
Doctors also said they believe the swelling and bruising to the victim’s face was the result strikes and punches, according to the charging papers. The victim said she did not remember Wheeler striking her.
Prosecutors say if convicted on the charges, sentencing range can be anywhere from eight to 12 years.
Wheeler graduated from Santa Monica High School and then played football at USC from 2013 to 2016.
He went undrafted before being signed by the New York Giants. He spent two seasons with the Giants before joining the Seahawks.
Wheeler joined the Seahawks in 2019 and appeared in five games this season. His contract with the team was set to expire with the start of the new league year in March.MORE NEWS: K-12, Community College Students Can Ride Metro For Free Beginning Nov. 1
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)