The ex-girlfriend of a former NFL player who claims he physically abused her during their relationship opened up about her allegations of brutal domestic violence in an interview on the “Tamron Hall” show on Friday.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Chad Wheeler, who is white, was arrested in January for felony domestic violence stemming from an instance where he beat and strangled Alleah Taylor, a Black woman, until she was unconscious.
Taylor said the two were dating for six months and that the violent attack transpired during a manic episode after Wheeler stopped taking his medication for bipolar disorder. Court documents say the incident transpired after Wheeler demanded Taylor stand, bow and call him “master.”
On Friday, Taylor told Hall that the attack caught her off guard.
“I couldn’t scream,” she said before adding later: “I look back and I’m like ‘How did you know how to do this so quickly?’ He [Wheeler] strangled me then, so quickly and I tried to move my arm to try to block his arm and that’s when he snatched it back, and when he snatched it back I went unconscious. I had woken up, and I was in a daze staring at the ceiling and I saw him come back and he started strangling me again. And I went unconscious….”
Police were called to Wheeler’s resident in Kent, Washington, the night of Jan. 22, to find Taylor bloodied and screaming inside the bathroom, where she was barricaded with Wheeler behind her. Investigators discovered “noticeable fingerprints on both sides of her neck as well as capillaries that had burst at the back of her throat.”
Wheeler, who stands at 6’7″ and weighs 310 pounds, was detained in 2015 as a student at the University of Southern California during an incident off-campus where he was accused of punching walls and windows while barricading himself inside an apartment with a 20-year-old woman and her 7-month-old baby. Wheeler ignored police demands and was restrained after cops fired multiple rounds of bean bags at him. He was taken to a local hospital where he underwent a psychiatric evaluation.
Taylor, who previously said she wants Wheeler to serve prison time, told Hall she suspected he meant to kill her.
“It’s a thought that’s come in my head, definitely, many times,” Taylor said.
The trauma suffered helped prompt Taylor to speak out publicly about her experience, she said.
“I feel like the truth, and being transparent about it, the acknowledgment of how brutal this was, it needs to be acknowledged, I don’t think that this is something that should be swept under the rug, or people should feel that uncomfortable,” Tayor said. “And it’s an uncomfortable conversation of course to have, but it’s the truth. And it needs to be told. And it needs to be acknowledged, because I know I’m not the only person that has experienced abuse in any way.”
Taylor added: “I think it’s very important to be transparent, to tell the truth, you know, a lot of abusers seem like really great people in public, you know, really great personalities, really outgoing, and behind closed doors they may be a completely different person. … So I’m hoping the support that I received, if someone else steps out and even if it’s not a public figure I hope and pray people rally around them too.”