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Seahawks release statement on Chad Wheeler’s domestic violence arrest, express support for victim

Content warning: This story includes details of suspected domestic violence

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday it was reported that Seattle Seahawks backup tackle Chad Wheeler was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend at his residence in Kent. The details from the police report about the incident are undoubtedly disturbing and frightening.

[...] The incident began when Wheeler asked the victim to bow to him, and when she did not he grabbed her and threw her on a bed.

The report said Wheeler then strangled the victim before she lost consciousness. The report also said when she regained consciousness, Wheeler was standing near the bed and said, “Wow you’re alive?”

According to the victim, Wheeler had stopped taking his medication to treat his bipolar disorder in the days leading up to the attack. There is a graphic photo of the woman’s injuries circulating online but we will not publish it here.

After an initial statement from the Seahawks acknowledging the arrest and saying that they are gathering more information, the team released a more thorough statement on Wednesday confirming Wheeler, who was a restricted free agent, will not be re-signed. The statement also included expressing support for the victim along with services to help domestic violence victims and those experiencing mental health crises.

“The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence arrest,” the statement read. “Our thoughts and support are with the victim. Chad is a free agent and no longer with the team. 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 Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TRS: 1-800-799-4889).”

Wheeler has since been released from King County Jail after posting $400,000 bond. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. The NFL is also reviewing the matter under the league’s personal conduct policy.

UPDATE:

Wednesday afternoon the Seahawks waived Wheeler.