Louisville-area prosecutors drop all charges against Scottie Scheffler from PGA Championship arrest
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Louisville-area prosecutors drop all charges against Scottie Scheffler from PGA Championship arrest

A photo of golfer Scottie Scheffler AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 27: Scottie Scheffler of the United States plays his shot from the first tee in his finals match against Kevin Kisner of the United States on the final day of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 27, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Jefferson County, Kentucky, prosecutors have dropped all four charges against Scottie Scheffler stemming from an arrest on Friday morning ahead of the 2024 PGA Championship second round outside the gates of Valhalla Golf Club.

Mike O'Connell, a prosecutor on the case, said in a Wednesday court hearing in Louisville that the county is no longer pursuing the charges. O'Connell said that the evidence against Scheffler is not strong enough to continue with the case, not even meeting what is considered the lower standard of "probable cause."

"Therefore based on the totality of the evidence my office cannot move forward in the prosecution of the charges filed against Mr. Scheffler," O'Connell told the court.

Scheffler was arrested around 6 a.m. on Friday, May 17, outside the gates of Valhalla Golf Club. Scheffler was trying to drive around a traffic backup that stemmed from a fatal accident involving a transportation bus, whose driver struck and killed tournament worker John Mills outside the club's entrance.

An officer at the scene asked for Scheffler to stop in trying to get around the traffic on the opposite side of the road as the accident. Scheffler was not clear that the officer, Detective Bryan Gillis, who was wearing a high-visibility jacket not uncommon to tournament security or volunteers in traffic control, was a member of the police. In video that was not released by the Louisville Metro Police Department, Scheffler told a different officer that Det. Gillis reached into his car, grabbed Scheffler's shoulder and hit him in trying to get him to stop. Scheffler maintained he would have stopped immediately were he aware Gillis was an officer. The officer heard in the video footage suggested Scheffler should stop when anyone -- not just a police officer -- yells for him to stop.

In a letter to the court, O'Connell added, "Mr. Scheffler's characterization that this is a 'big misunderstanding' is corroborated by the evidence."

Louisville Metro Police maintain there is no footage from Gillis' body camera from the incident. That lack of use drew a strong rebuke from the Louisville metro council in a subsequent budget hearing the following week, considering the police department spent $302,000 on body cameras in the prior budget cycle. Gillis violated department policy by not turning on his camera, and the department announced a formal rebuke.

After approximately 90 minutes in a downtown jail, Scheffler was released on Friday morning and shot 5-under 66 at Valhalla Golf Club. He ultimately finished tied for eighth place in the tournament.

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