Alleah Taylor, the victim of the alleged domestic violence incident involving former Seahawks offensive lineman Chad Wheeler, broke her silence in an interview and spoke about how the trauma has affected her.
“I still have to regularly get my concussion checked,” Taylor said in an interview with CBS This Morning that aired Wednesday. “I have bolts and a steel plate I’m going to have forever in my arm. I’m going to have to deal with this the rest of my life.”
Taylor, 27, recounted how she became worried about Wheeler’s behavior after he texted her Jan. 22 that he had shaved his head, despite her saying that he loved his long hair.
“I came home and Chad was trying to play it off as he just kind of cut his hair, but then as time went on throughout the day, he started going downhill emotionally,” she said.
Taylor appeared in the interview with her right arm in a sling and repeatedly had to fight back tears as she recounted the alleged incident.
Taylor told police that Wheeler has bi-polar disorder and that he “snapped into a dark place” during the incident.
“He stood up,” Taylor said, recounting the alleged incident. “And he told me to bow down. And I asked him why. And he didn’t respond. He just told me to bow down again. And I told him no. And he immediately grabbed my neck. And that’s when things began.”
Taylor said Wheeler threw her on a bed and tried to choke her. Taylor said she blacked out twice.
“I had touched my face and I looked down, and there was blood on my hand,” Taylor continued. “I remember getting up and running to the bathroom. Chad was standing by the bed, by the doorway and he was sipping his smoothie and was, like, ‘Wow, you’re, you’re still alive.’ “
Taylor said she locked herself in the bathroom and called 911 and texted members of her family and Wheeler’s father to ask for help.
“To be honest, I don’t know,” Taylor said during the interview when asked if she thought a mental health issue was tied to the alleged incident. “He went and ate dinner after doing this to me and he didn’t take the same approach with the cops as he did with me.”
Though Wheeler’s contract was expiring and he was already set to become a free agent, Seattle waived him January 27.
“The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence,” the team said in a statement January 27. “Our thoughts and support are with the victim. Chad is a free agent and no longer with the team.”
Wheeler was charged with first-degree domestic violence assault, with domestic violence unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest by King County (Washington) prosecutors.
In an arraignment Feb. 1, Wheeler entered a not guilty plea to all three charges.
“I didn’t want him to think that he had that power over me,” Taylor said about attending the hearing. “That I wasn’t going to defend myself. I thought, ‘How easy would that be for him and his legal team to be able to say whatever they want without having to look me in the eye.’ “
Taylor said she was “beyond grateful” to be alive and that “God has blessed me with another chance.” She said she was hoping her experience could help other victims of domestic violence to feel empowered to share their accounts.
“Yes, I definitely do think that he should,” Taylor said when asked if she thought Wheeler should serve a jail sentence. “I have to say the hardest part of all this wasn’t the surgeries, it wasn’t any of that. It was getting a call from my niece and nephews. They thought they had lost me and the pain in their voice, I will never forget that. I will never forget that.”
The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 800-799-7233.