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Scheffler’s PGA Championship arrest charges are dropped

Scottie Scheffler is arrested

Source: X/Jeff Darlington

Golfer Scottie Scheffler wants to move on after criminal charges against him were dismissed to bring an extraordinary fortnight for the world No.1  to an end.

Scheffler’s bid to win the US PGA Championship was thrown into chaos on May 17 when he was arrested ahead of his second round after he tried to drive into the Kentucky venue in heavy traffic.

It had been caused by an unrelated accident in which a male pedestrian died.

Masters champion Scheffler briefly spent time in jail before returning to the course to play his second round. He had faced charges of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

Scheffler’s lawyer Steve Romines insisted at the time that the charges against his client would “either be dropped or we’ll go to trial”. On Wednesday (US time), the first option emerged, as Jefferson county attorney Mike O’Connell tendered a motion to dismiss all charges at the Hall of Justice in Louisville.

“As I stated previously, this was an unfortunate misunderstanding,” Scheffler later posted on his Instagram page.

“I hold no ill will towards Officer [Bryan] Gillis. I wish to put this incident behind me and move on, and I hope he will do the same. Police officers have a difficult job and I hold them in high regard. This was a severe miscommunication in a chaotic situation.

“I appreciate the support during the past two weeks and want to again encourage everyone to remember the real tragedy of May 17. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with John Mills and his family, and I hope to personally offer my condolences now that his case is over. May John rest in peace.”

scottie scheffler

Scottie Scheffler’s statement via Instagram.

O’Connell told the court that “based upon the totality of the evidence” his office continue continue with the charges filed against Scheffler.

“Mr Scheffler’s characterisation that this was a ‘big misunderstanding’ is corroborated by the evidence,” he said.

“The evidence we reviewed supports the conclusion that detective 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 and misunderstanding do not satisfy the elements of any criminal offences.

“For these reasons, I now tender to the court a motion of order to dismiss all these charges in this case against Mr Scheffler with prejudice.”

According to the police report at the time, Gillis stopped Scheffler’s car and “attempted to give instructions” to him.

The report alleged Scheffler refused to comply and “accelerated forward, dragging Gillis to the ground”. There was no police bodycam footage because Gillis’s camera was not turned on.

Scheffler was arrested and detained by Louisville Metropolitan Police Department. Upon his release – which allowed him to return to play in the US PGA Championship – he said it was all a “big misunderstanding”.

While Scheffler carded a second-round 66, he had to settle for a tie of eighth place. He finished seven shots off eventual winner Xander Schauffele.

In a statement, local police said they respected O’Connell’s decision and the judicial process.

“Videos and documents which were previously unreleased due to the judicial process will be made available, after appropriate redactions are made, via Louisville Metro Government’s online portal,” they said.

Scheffler had been set to go back to Louisville on Monday for an arraignment and lawyer Romines confirmed his client had no intention of filing a lawsuit against LMPD.

“We’re pleased the case has been dismissed today, obviously was dismissed with prejudice. We were prepared to go forward and litigate this matter and we were also prepared to litigate the case civilly,” Romines said said.

“It is obvious he didn’t do anything wrong and as I have said repeatedly, the more evidence that comes out, the more it shows that Scottie was a victim here. And I think everybody sees something like this happen and realises they are one wrong turn or running into the wrong person away from going to jail themselves.

“There are absolutely grounds for a lawsuit but he doesn’t want to be involved because who pays? The taxpayers of Louisville. Scottie Scheffler doesn’t want the taxpayers of Louisville to pay. He wishes to move forward from this case.”

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