Former New York Giants tackle Chad Wheeler pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he choked his girlfriend in their Washington state home.
Wheeler, 27, who most recently played for the Seattle Seahawks, was arraigned at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Washington State on charges of first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment, and resisting arrest, ESPN reported Monday.
Wheeler’s plea came just days after he announced he was stepping away from the game following his arrest for allegedly choking the woman — who showed up in court with her left arm in a sling, the network said.
The hulking 6-foot-7, 310-pound footballer will remain free pending a Feb. 11 hearing but was ordered to wear a GPS-equipped ankle monitoring device, remain under home confinement, and stay away from the woman.
Wheeler, who played his college ball at USC, was arrested on Jan. 23 for allegedly choking his girlfriend until she was unconscious during what both described as a violent “manic episode.”
When the woman regained consciousness, she told police that Wheeler expressed surprise that she was still alive, according to records obtained by ESPN.
The records show that when police broke into the apartment the two shared, the woman’s face was covered in blood, her left arm was swollen — and she had fingerprints on both sides of her neck, the documents show.
The alleged victim told cops that the two had been dating for about six months, and said Wheeler has bipolar disorder and had not been taking his medication, the outlet said.
“It is time for me to walk away from football and get the help I need to never again pose a threat to another,” Wheeler posted on Twitter after the arrest. “I cannot express my sorrow or remorse enough. I am truly ashamed.”
Despite Wheeler’s apology, his former roommate at the University of Southern California, Pittsburgh Steeler’s offensive tackle Zach Banner, tweeted out last week that he would never forgive him for the alleged assault.
Wheeler played for the football Giants from 2017 to 2019 before signing with the Seahawks as a practiice squad player.
He was cut by the team on Jan. 28 following his arrest.
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