Charges dismissed against star golfer Scottie Scheffler over traffic incident during PGA Championship

Written by on May 29, 2024

Louisville Metro Police Department

(LOUISVILLE, K.Y.) — All charges have been dismissed against star golfer Scottie Scheffler, who was arrested while in Louisville, Kentucky, for the PGA Championship earlier this month.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell addressed the court Wednesday on a motion to dismiss the charges.

The golfer, ranked No. 1 in the world, was driving near the Valhalla Golf Club on May 17 when police alleged he ignored an officer’s traffic command and injured the officer with his vehicle. He was arrested hours before his second-round tee time at the year’s second major.

Scheffler, 27, was arrested on charges of second-degree assault of a police officer — a felony — as well as third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic, according to police. He was scheduled to be arraigned on June 3.

The arrest occurred about an hour after a deadly accident near the golf course. Around 5 a.m. that day, a man was fatally struck by a shuttle bus as he tried to cross a road near the course holding the PGA Championship, according to a statement released by the Louisville Metro Police Department. The victim was identified as PGA Championship volunteer John Mills.

A police report alleged that Scheffler refused to comply with a police officer’s request to stop and “accelerated forward,” dragging the detective to the ground. The officer — identified as Detective Bryan Gillis — was taken to the hospital after suffering “pain, swelling, and abrasions to his left wrist and knee,” the report stated.

In a police record, Gillis stated he was directing traffic following the accident in front of a gate. After PGA personnel stopped a bus from entering the gate, he stated that he stopped an approaching vehicle and advised the driver, Scheffler, he could not proceed due to the bus.

“He demanded to be let in, and proceeded forward against my directions,” Gillis wrote. “I was dragged/knocked down by the driver. I then proceeded to arrest the driver.”

Scheffler called the incident a “big misunderstanding” and said that he was “proceeding as directed by police officers.”

“It was a very chaotic situation, understandably so considering the tragic accident that had occurred earlier, and there was a big misunderstanding of what I thought I was being asked to do,” Scheffler said in a statement following his arrest on social media. “I never intended to disregard any of the instructions.”

Scheffler’s attorney, Steve Romines, said in a statement to Louisville ABC affiliate WHAS that Scheffler was following orders from one officer and there was a “miscommunication” with the second officer who attempted to stop him.

“In the confusion, Scottie is alleged to have disregarded a different officer’s traffic signals resulting in these charges,” Romines said in the statement. “Multiple eyewitnesses have confirmed that he did not do anything wrong but was simply proceeding as directed. He stopped immediately upon being directed to and never at any point assaulted any officer with his vehicle.”

There is no body camera footage of the incident between Scheffler and the officer, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg previously told reporters. Gillis had a body-worn camera but had not switched it on, in violation of department policy, according to Louisville Metro Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel.

Following an internal investigation, Gillis received a corrective action for failing to turn on his body-worn camera, the chief announced on May 23.

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