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All charges dropped against golfer Scottie Scheffler after Louisville arrest

FILE - Scottie Scheffler speaks during a news conference during the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. Masters champion Scottie Scheffler was detained by police Friday morning for not following police instructions during a traffic jam that followed a traffic fatality involving a pedestrian, ESPN reported. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Sue Ogrocki
Scottie Scheffler was arrested on May 17 during the PGA Championship. He was released two and half hours later.

A Jefferson County judge approved a motion to drop all criminal charges against golfer Scottie Scheffler. His attorney said the situation was “a big misunderstanding.”

On the morning of May 17, Scottie Scheffler was arrested by Louisville Metro Police outside of Valhalla Golf Club during the PGA Championship. Now, Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell said the prosecution does not have enough probable cause to pursue a case against the world’s top male golfer.

A judge approved a motion to dismiss all of Scheffler’s charges which included felony second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic. The latter three charges were misdemeanors.

The decision comes after a back-and-forth between Scheffler’s attorney and local authorities following his arrest. LMPD said Scheffler struck and knocked down Detective Bryan Gillis with his vehicle while trying to enter Valhalla. Scheffler was then arrested, sent to Louisville Metro Department of Corrections and released about two hours later. He made it back to Valhalla for his tee time.

Scheffler’s attorney, Steven Romines, said the incident was a “big misunderstanding.” He said Scheffler was not aware that the man directing traffic was a police officer and that he did not intend to disobey traffic orders.

Romines said his client was a victim of police misconduct and overcharging.

“[Scheffler was] being interrogated after the most stressful situation of his life,” Romines said. “And the officer is actually asking him leading questions and trying to get him to agree with them. And that's why you don't talk to the police, because they are going to try to put words in your mouth.”

A video released by a livestreamer on Facebook shows footage of a man in the back seat of a dark vehicle with flashing blue and red lights. The man appears to be speaking to another man off camera about the situation outside Valhalla.

Romines confirmed the man in the back seat of the car is Scheffler.

In a written statement, a spokesperson with the Louisville Mayor’s Office said the video “should have remained confidential until the completion of the investigation."

Officials with LMPD said any unreleased videos related to the incident will be released “after appropriate redactions are made” by online request only through Louisville Metro Government.

Despite his anger towards what happened to his client, Romines said Scheffler does not plan to sue LMPD.

“If he prevails in civil litigation against LMPD, who pays that? The taxpayers of Louisville,” Romines said. “[Scheffler] doesn't wish for the taxpayers of Louisville to pay him for whatever occurred, [and] litigation is a distraction for anyone.”

LMPD officials said they respect the judge’s decision to dismiss Scheffler’s case.

Giselle is LPM's breaking news reporter. Email Giselle at grhoden@lpm.org.

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