Charges Dropped: Scottie Scheffler Cleared Post-PGA Arrest

PGA Championship arrest leads to police protocol scrutiny

by Zain ul Abedin
Charges Dropped: Scottie Scheffler Cleared Post-PGA Arrest
© Sam Hodde/Getty Images

In a significant turn of events, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell announced the dismissal of all charges against professional golfer Scottie Scheffler, stemming from his arrest on May 17, just before the PGA Championship's second round at Valhalla Golf Club.

The decision, revealed during a court session and broadcasted by WDRB News, comes after a thorough review of the incident, which O'Connell described as a "confusing and chaotic scene." Scheffler's arrest occurred amidst unusual circumstances when a tragic accident at the golf course led to heightened police activity.

Earlier that morning, a vendor named John Mills was fatally hit by a shuttle bus, causing significant disruptions and a delay in the tournament schedule. Attempting to reach the venue, Scheffler drove around the resultant traffic jam via the median, inadvertently defying police orders to halt.

His actions led to a brief detention by law enforcement officers, though he was released after three hours without bail, allowing him to continue participating in the tournament. The charges initially levied against Scheffler included a felony for second-degree assault of a police officer and several misdemeanors, such as third-degree criminal mischief and reckless driving.

However, these were dropped due to insufficient evidence to support continued prosecution, as stated by O'Connell.

Body-Cam Protocol Breach

Further complications arose post-tournament when it was revealed that Detective Bryan Gillis of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) failed to activate his body-worn camera during the incident.

This omission breached department protocols, prompting internal reviews and resulting in undisclosed disciplinary actions against Gillis. The detective's failure to record the encounter was documented in an LMPD memorandum where he cited preoccupation with urgent traffic duties as the reason for the oversight.

The public and legal scrutiny extended when the LMPD released two additional videos from the day of the arrest, showing Scheffler complying with police directives. These videos played a crucial role in clarifying the events and contributed to the decision to drop the charges.

As the dust settles on this ordeal, Scottie Scheffler is preparing to return to the green, scheduled to compete in the upcoming Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio. The golf community and fans are eager to see how he performs following the recent upheavals, hoping for a return to normalcy and focus on the sport.

Meanwhile, the incident remains a poignant reminder of the complexities and pressures that can intersect at major sporting events.