Scheffler sees charges dropped over PGA arrest

Criminal charges have been dropped against world No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler after the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office in Louisville, Kentucky, said it would not pursue the case that stemmed from a traffic incident outside the PGA Championship earlier this month.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell asked for the charges to be dismissed with prejudice — meaning they can’t be filed again in the future — during a court hearing Wednesday.

“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. “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, who was not present at the hearing, was arrested May 17 by Gillis, a Louisville Metro Police detective who alleged that Scheffler’s SUV accelerated and dragged him to the ground. The golfer had been trying to drive around traffic outside Valhalla Golf Club that had backed up after a man was struck and killed by a shuttle bus earlier that morning.

Scheffler, 27, was booked and released less than two hours before his second-round tee time. He had faced four charges, including felony second-degree assault of a police officer.

Scheffler’s attorney, Steve Romines, had previously said his client would plead not guilty and wasn’t interested in a plea deal.

“I am prepared to litigate as needed and the case will be dismissed, or we will go to trial because Scottie did absolutely nothing wrong,” Romines said.

On Thursday, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel announced that Gillis had been disciplined because he didn’t activate his bodycam video recorder during the incident.

Gillis had been transported to a hospital by emergency medical personnel for evaluation. According to a police incident report, he suffered “pain, swelling and abrasions” to his left wrist and knee. His pants were also damaged beyond repair.

After being released from jail, Scheffler carded a 5-under 66 in the second round of the PGA Championship to remain in contention for his second straight victory at a major. He posted a 2-over 73 in the third round — his worst score in 266 days that ended his streak of 42 consecutive rounds of par or better.

He rallied for a 6-under 65 on Sunday and finished tied for eighth with a 72-hole total of 13 under, eight strokes behind winner Xander Schauffele.

Scheffler, who has won in four of his past seven starts, is scheduled to compete in next week’s Memorial Tournament presented by Workday at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, the last tournament before the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina on June 13-16.

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