Former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Chad Wheeler is having a rough go. The athlete pleaded not guilty to criminal charges during an arraignment.
At the King County’s Maleng Regional Justice Center, Wheeler pleaded not guilty to first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence, unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest.
Authorities charged Wheeler after violently attacking his girlfriend. He then reportedly resisted arrest, fighting with the responding officers. The court ordered the athlete to remain in Washington under house detention. They placed a GPS-monitoring device on his ankle.
Previously, authorities ordered Wheeler to avoid contact with his girlfriend and to surrender any weapons he owns. His expected trial will be on April 6. His next case-setting hearing will be on Feb. 11. So far, Wheeler has avoided jail time on a $400,000 bond.
Chad Wheeler Attacked His Girlfriend
On Jan. 23, officers arrested Wheeler after his girlfriend accused him of choking her. The athlete reportedly strangled the woman twice with the intent to kill her, according to the woman. Responding to the call, officers forced their way into the apartment where they found the woman bloodied and bruised.
She experienced a fractured humerus and dislocated elbow among other injuries.
Wheeler reportedly failed to respond to the police. Responding officers used a taser, which apparently had little effect on the athlete. Finally, they managed to arrest the former NFL player.
One officer described the encounter to TMZ: “When I grabbed ahold of Chad, I could tell that he was very solid and muscular as he was not easy to move. As the three of us (with a combined weight of about 700 pounds) were on top of Chad, I could feel him lifting his body up like he was pushing up to get away.”
The athlete has since blamed the episode on his bipolar disorder, which doctors diagnosed him with in 2016. As a result of the charges, the Seahawks let Wheeler go.
“Events happened over the weekend that transpired from a manic episode,” Chad Wheeler wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Wheeler’s girlfriend said that she is fearful for Wheeler to be walking the streets. The woman went on record saying she does not feel safe as long as the athlete’s not in jail. The athlete’s trial is on-going with more details to follow.