Alleah Taylor, the former girlfriend of NFL player Chad Wheeler, spoke out for the first time during a “CBS This Morning” interview on Wednesday, recounting her harrowing experience where she was reportedly brutally beaten within an inch of her life by Wheeler in January.
CBS News national correspondent Jericka Duncan sat down with Taylor, 27, during a lengthy interview where she expressed that she still feels unsafe.
Wheeler, a 27-year-old former offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks, was arrested directly after the incident and released days later on $400,000 bail. He plead not guilty to charges of first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest. If convicted he faces 8-12 years in prison. Wheeler’s trial will begin in April.
Standing at 6’7″ weighing 310 pounds, Wheeler was unable to be restrained by officers who used a taser when they encountered Taylor in the bathroom of her Seattle home, beaten and bloodied. Taylor stands at 5’9″.
“I still have to regularly get my concussion checked. I have bolts and a steel plate I’m gonna have forever in my arm. I’m gonna have to deal with this the rest of my life,” Taylor said.
She claims that their relationship, which spanned six months, was initially calm and playful. But she noticed a change in Wheeler when he texted her that he shaved his beloved long locks. Taylor says she knew Wheeler was diagnosed as bi-polar and acknowledges that it was the beginning of a manic episode.
Wheeler says the incident spiraled out of control resulting from Wheeler demanding that she bow to him. When she refused, she says things turned physical.
She said he grabbed her neck and refused to let go of her. She told Duncan that she blacked out twice during the episode.
“I had touched my face, and I looked down and there was — there’s blood on my hand,” Taylor told Duncan. “And 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 he was, like, ‘Wow, you’re — you’re still alive.'”
She then texted her family and Wheeler’s father for help.
“I’m grateful he didn’t grab me in that moment. I was able to run to the bathroom. He went back into the living room to continue eating. I had texted his dad too, and told him that Chad was trying to kill me. And showed him a picture. Chad’s dad called him while he was eating. And while I was in the bathroom. And he answered. And he didn’t have any worry at all, and Chad was, like, ‘I’m just eating dinner. Nothing’s going on.’ And that terrified me.”
When police arrived, she says Wheeler “didn’t take the same approach” with authorities, where according to reports, he seemed apologetic and disoriented regarding what transpired.
Taylor appeared at Wheeler’s recent court appearance and explained why she chose to attend.
“I didn’t want him to think that he had that power over me, that I wasn’t going to defend myself. And I thought how easy would that be for him and his legal team to be able to say what they want without having to look me in the eye.”
Taylor says she believes Wheeler deserves to spend time in jail for his actions. She shared she will “never forget” the pain in her niece and nephews voice when they called her, thinking she may have been dead.
“I want to try to use the time I’ve been blessed with to help other people, and to get this story out. And to make sure people don’t feel alone and that this doesn’t happen again,” she said.