PGA: Charges dropped against PGA Tour star Scottie Scheffler

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All charges against Scottie Scheffler were dropped Wednesday in Louisville, Ky., where a prosecutor agreed with the World No. 1 golfer’s assessment that his arrest was a “big misunderstanding.”

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell said his office would not pursue the case stemming from an incident outside the PGA Championship earlier this month. He asked for the charges to be dismissed with prejudice, meaning they can’t be refiled in the future.

“Based upon the totality of the evidence, my office cannot move forward in the prosecution of the charges filed against Mr. Scheffler,” O’Connell said, per ESPN. “Mr. Scheffler’s characterization that this was a ‘big misunderstanding’ is corroborated by the evidence. The evidence we reviewed supports the conclusion that Detective [Bryan] Gillis was concerned for public safety at the scene when he initiated contact with Mr. Scheffler. However, Mr. Scheffler’s actions and the evidence surrounding their exchange during this misunderstanding do not satisfy the elements of any criminal offenses.”

Scheffler, 27, had been facing charges of felony second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic.

He was arrested in the predawn hours on May 17 as he attempted to enter Valhalla Golf Club, site of the PGA Championship. Traffic had been stopped outside the course after a pedestrian was struck and killed by a shuttle bus.

According to the arrest citation, Scheffler failed to stop on Gillis’ command. The detective then grabbed the golfer’s tournament car and fell to the ground as Scheffler tried to drive away.

Scheffler’s attorney, Steve Romines, told reporters Wednesday that eyewitnesses said Gillis was not dragged by the car.

“The more evidence that comes out, the more it shows that Scottie was a victim here,” Romines said. “And I think everybody sees something like this happen and realizes they’re one wrong turn … from going to jail.”

Scheffler was released from jail in time to play his second round. A four-time PGA Tour winner this season, Scheffler was the overwhelming pre-tournament favorite. He finished tied for eighth at 13 under par.

Gillis later was disciplined by his department because his body-worn camera was turned off.

However, a new video surfaced Wednesday of Scheffler’s conversation with an officer while sitting in the back of a police car. In it, Scheffler said he didn’t know that the man wearing a yellow jacket and trying to stop him was a policeman. Scheffler also said the officer “hit” him with a flashlight.

“If I knew he was a police officer, I would have been much less afraid,” Scheffler said. “But panic kind of set in. As you can see, I’m still shaking because I was afraid. I didn’t know who he was. He didn’t say, ‘Police, get out of the car.’ He just hit me with his flashlight and yelled, ‘Get out of the car.'”

Scheffler followed up the PGA Championship by tying for second last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. He is not competing at this week’s RBC Canadian Open.

Romines said Scheffler does not plan to pursue civil litigation.

“(He) does not want to do that. He wants to move on,” Romines said.

–Field Level Media

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