Report: USC OT in protective custody for psychiatric evaluation after police altercation

USC Trojans offensive tackle Chad Wheeler

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USC offensive tackle Chad Wheeler was in protective custody for a psychiatric evaluation Saturday after an altercation with police, according to a report by NBC News

Wheeler, a starting offensive lineman for the Trojans, missed Saturday’s practice for a "personal issue," head coach Clay Helton told reporters earlier in the day. 

Here are the details from the NBC News report:

Los Angeles officers responded to a man at around 8:45 a.m. PT (11:45 a.m. ET) who was possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, punching walls and windows, and injuring his hands inside an apartment in South Los Angeles near the USC campus, said the law enforcement sources close to the investigation. The man was identified as Chad Wheeler, a junior and an offensive lineman at USC. He ran out of the apartment after hitting at the walls and windows, the sources said.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

A fire department official said units responded after receiving a police alert involving a 21-year-old USC football player who was a “barricaded suspect” with a 20-year-old female friend and her 7-month-old son. … The man came out of the residence, (Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Jane) Kim said, then “ignored the officers’ commands and ran back into the kitchen area.” She said the officers were concerned that he could grab some kind of weapon, so “a use of force occurred.”

The NBC report says officers confronted Wheeler and that the player was hit with bean bag rounds:

The sources did not go into detail about the exact nature of what led police to use bean bag rounds, a less lethal form of force.

Both reports state that Wheeler was not arrested. NBC reported Saturday the he was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and was in protective custody.

USC is set to take on Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30.