SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks say offensive tackle Chad Wheeler is no longer with the team following his arrest on suspicion of felony assault-domestic violence.
The 27-year-old Wheeler is accused of strangling his girlfriend until she lost consciousness.
A spokesperson with the King County prosecutor’s office told ESPN that a charging decision is expected to be made by Wednesday afternoon.
The Seahawks released a statement Wednesday that read, in part: “The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging 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.”
Wheeler was arrested early Saturday morning after an incident at a residence in the Seattle suburb of Kent.
According to a police report obtained by ESPN, the woman called 911 from inside a locked bathroom and said she was being “killed.” The report states that the woman had fled into the bathroom after Wheeler threw her onto a bed and strangled her long enough for her to lose consciousness, at one point removing one hand to press it against her nose and mouth to try to stop her from breathing while continuing to strangle her with his other hand.
When the woman regained consciousness, according to the report, Wheeler was standing near the bed and said, “Wow, you’re alive?”
The woman told police that Wheeler suffers from bipolar disorder and has not been taking his medication recently.
“We encourage Chad to get the help he needs,” the Seahawks said in their statement. “If you are experiencing mental health issues, please reach out for help.”
Prosecutors asked for Wheeler to be held on $500,000 bail following his weekend arrest. The judge set bail at $400,000 and ordered Wheeler to have no contact with the woman and to surrender any weapons.
Wheeler appeared in court Monday to determine if there was probable cause to continue holding him in jail. He was released Tuesday morning after posting a $400,000 bail bond.
An NFL spokesperson told ESPN: “The matter is under review of the personal conduct policy.”
Wheeler is scheduled to become a restricted free agent. He would become an unrestricted free agent if the team does not tender him. The Seahawks removed Wheeler from their online roster, which still lists other pending RFAs.
A message to Wheeler’s agent from ESPN has not been returned.
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