Sport

CASE CLOSED

Charges against world No 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler dropped after Louisville arrest

Charges against world No 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler dropped after Louisville arrest
Scottie Scheffler of the US walks the sixth fairway during the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on 23 May 2024. (Photo: Sam Hodde / Getty Images)

Scottie Scheffler, the world’s best golfer, will seek no compensation after charges of assaulting a police officer in Louisville this month were dropped.

Charges against world No 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler stemming from his arrest before the second round of the PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, two weeks ago were dropped on Wednesday.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell told the court there was not enough evidence to move forward with the case against Scheffler, who was charged on 17 May with four counts, including felony second-degree assault on a police officer.

“Mr Scheffler’s characterisation that this was a ‘big misunderstanding’ is corroborated by the evidence,” O’Connell told the court.

“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 offences.”

The charges were dropped with prejudice, meaning they cannot be refiled.

The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) said it respected the decision, adding that videos and documents previously unreleased due to the judicial process would be made available after appropriate redactions had been made.

Scheffler was arrested for allegedly attempting to drive around traffic that was backed up due to a pedestrian fatality investigation outside Valhalla Golf Club. He was released from jail in time to compete in the tournament.

According to the police report, Gillis stopped Scheffler’s vehicle and attempted to give him instructions but the golfer “refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging” the officer to the ground.

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler hits a tee shot on the sixth hole during the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club in Forth Worth, Texas, on 26 May 2024. (Photo: Tim Heitman / Getty Images)

Last week, the LMPD said it had taken “corrective action” against Gillis for not activating his body-worn camera during the incident.

Scheffler, who had also been charged with third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic, said he was happy to put the incident behind him.

“As I stated previously, this was an unfortunate misunderstanding,” said Scheffler in a statement. “I hold no ill will toward Officer Gillis. I wish to put this incident behind me and move on, and I hope he will do the same.

“Police officers have a difficult job and I hold them in high regard. This was a severe miscommunication in a chaotic situation.”

Scheffler also wrote about John Mills, the pedestrian who had been killed on the morning of the golfer’s arrest.

“I appreciate the support during the past two weeks and want to again encourage everyone to remember the real tragedy of 17 May,” he wrote. “My thoughts and prayers continue to be with John Mills and his family, and I hope to personally offer my condolences now that the case is over.”

No lawsuit

Attorney Steve Romines said Scheffler was unaware at the time that a death had occurred and was directed, as other players were, on how to proceed into Valhalla.

Romines also said Scheffler, who is in the midst of a remarkable season of golf, would not be filing a civil lawsuit and wanted to focus on his career rather than get distracted by litigation.

“He’s happy it’s over, he wants to move on,” Romines told reporters. “He has no desire to a) be involved in litigation and b) try to recover money from the taxpayers of Louisville.”

Scheffler arrived at Valhalla that week as the pre-tournament favourite and seeking a fifth win in six starts and a second consecutive major title. He ultimately finished eight shots behind the winner and in a share of eighth place.

Scheffler is scheduled to return to action at next week’s Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, before heading to the year’s third major, the 13-16 June US Open at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. Reuters/DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Arved von Oettingen says:

    I know nothing of Mr. Scheffler’s character, but the situation seems to have been precipitated by the selfish actions of a spoilt, entitled rich boy?

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