Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic details of domestic violence.
I wish neither death nor violence on anyone, but former Seattle Seahawk Chad Wheeler is testing the boundaries of my moral compass.
On Wednesday, his ex-girlfriend Alleah Taylor spoke to news correspondent Jericka Duncan on CBS This Morning and detailed the abuse she suffered at the hands of the NFL veteran. In January, Wheeler was charged with first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest after gruesome pictures of Taylor’s injuries surfaced online.
“I still have to regularly get my concussion checked,” she explained. “I have bolts, steel, 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.”
According to Taylor, they were together for six months and their relationship was the furthest thing from contentious.
“We were, like, best friends. We did everything together. I even introduced him to my family. We would babysit my nephew together,” she said.
That would all change on Jan. 22, when Wheeler texted her about shaving his head.
“He loved, just loved his long hair,” she said. “Refused to cut it. And it surprised me, and it worried me. I came home. And Chad was trying to play it off as if he just kinda cut his hair. But then, as time went on throughout the day, he started going downhill emotionally.”
This was the beginning of what Taylor would identify to police as a “manic episode” that would eventually take a violent turn.
“He stood up. And he told me to bow down. And I asked him why. 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,” she recalled through tears.
This violent encounter would culminate in Taylor blacking out twice after being attacked by the six-foot, seven-inch Wheeler who weighs over 300 pounds.
“I had touched my face. And I looked down. There was blood on my hand,” she said. “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.’”
In the aftermath of all of this, Wheeler was waived by the Seahawks and has since pleaded not guilty to subsequent charges. But Taylor has refused to be controlled by fear and made it a point to appear at his arraignment on Feb. 1.
“I didn’t want him to think that he had that power over me,” she said. “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?’”
She’s also adamant that despite his mental health challenges, Wheeler belongs behind bars.
“I definitely do think that he should,” she said. “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.”
You can watch the entirety of Taylor’s interview with CBS This Morning below.