Legal Twist: Golfer Scottie Scheffler Cleared as Prosecutors Drop Charges

We who chanted “Free Scottie”, have achieved our goal. Scottie Scheffler was cleared of all charges by prosecutors after a miscommunication between him and the traffic police led to his arrest in May.

The Athletic Reports:

Jefferson County prosecutors dropped charges against world No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler on Wednesday, as county attorney Mike O’Connell said the office would not pursue criminal action following Scheffler’s arrest during a traffic jam outside the PGA Championship.

O’Connell moved to dismiss the case in open court. He said that Scheffler’s claim that the whole thing was a misunderstanding “is corroborated by the evidence.”

According to ESPN, “The evidence that we reviewed supports the conclusion Detective [Brian] Gillis had concerns for the public’s safety when he made contact with Mr. Scheffler,” O’Connell stated. “However Mr. Scheffler’s actions and evidence surrounding their exchange in this misunderstood do not satisfy any elements of a criminal offense.”

O’Connell said that Scheffler could sue the police or city if so desired. At the time this article was written, it wasn’t known if he or his lawyers would file civil lawsuits.

Scheffler, who was driving to Valhalla Golf Club to play the second round of PGA Championship in the second half of May 17, encountered stopped traffic because a pedestrian had been killed. He claimed that an officer had told him to go around the traffic in order to get to the clubhouse before the deadline, but Gillis pulled Scheffler out of his car and arrested him.

Gillis did not have his bodycam on at the time, which is against police protocol. However, he claims that Scheffler was speeding up as he approached Scheffler’s car and dragged the officer down. Gillis claimed that Scheffler had dragged him to the ground as he approached the car.

The footage taken from different angles did not match the story told by Gillis. The dashcam footage and pole camera video of the police do not show Scheffler pulling Gillis behind his car.

Scheffler insisted that the entire incident was a misunderstanding from the moment it happened. He said that he did not try to play “don’t know who I am”, even though Gillis claimed Scheffler had “demanded that they let him in and went forward against my instructions.”

Jacquelyn Villaroel, the chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department, told the media in a statement that Gillis had “received corrective action” for violating the department’s rules regarding uniforms and equipment. This was recorded on a form of performance observation in accordance with the department’s discipline protocol.

Steven Romines, Scheffler’s lawyer, insisted that both he and Scheffler would fight charges brought against him. One of the charges was a felony. Romines said to the media the week following the arrest: “We are not interested in settling this case.” Either we will try the case or dismiss it. “It’s so simple.”