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Scheffler willing to go to trial over assault charge

Scottie Scheffler would go to trial to defend himself against police charges, says his lawyer.

Scottie Scheffler would go to trial to defend himself against police charges, says his lawyer. Photo: Getty

The lawyer representing the world’s top golfer Scottie Scheffler insists that the American is prepared to go to trial should the charge of assaulting a police officer not be dropped.

Scheffler was arrested on Friday morning (local time) after trying to drive into Valhalla Golf Club in heavy traffic caused by an earlier, unrelated accident in which a male pedestrian died after being struck by a shuttle bus.

According to the police report, Detective Bryan Gillis stopped Scheffler’s car and “attempted to give instruction” to the Masters champion, who is competing in the US PGA Championship.

The report alleges Scheffler refused to comply and “accelerated forward, dragging Detective Gillis to the ground”.

Scheffler faces charges of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic, with an arraignment set for Tuesday.

Second-degree assault is a felony, the other three charges are misdemeanours.

“They’ll either be dropped or we’ll go to trial because he didn’t do anything wrong,” Steve Romines, Scheffler’s lawyer, told Golf Channel.

“So we’re not interested in any sort of settlement negotiations or anything like that. It was just a big miscommunication.

“There had been a traffic fatality down the road and so there were differing traffic directions going on and traffic control officers were advising different things.

“Scottie was advised by one officer to go around and turn left into the facility. But the officer who charged him obviously didn’t know that. So, that’s where the miscommunication occurred.”

Speaking about Tuesday’s arraignment, which he said could be rescheduled, Romines added: “We will enter a plea of not guilty and get the next court date.”

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg told local media outlets on Saturday that there is no police bodycam footage of Scheffler’s arrest.

“The officer did not have bodycam footage turned on during the incident,” Greenberg said.

“We will release footage that we have. To my knowledge, we have not yet discovered any video of the initial contact between Officer Gillis and Mr. Scheffler.”

Greenberg said that footage from a “fixed camera” across the street from the entrance to Valhalla would be released in the coming days.

After being released and driven to the course, Scheffler carded a second round of 66 to lie three shots behind halfway lead Xander Schauffele.

-AAP

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