World No1 golfer Scottie Scheffler cleared as police drop charges following US PGA Championship arrest

29 May 2024, 20:21 | Updated: 29 May 2024, 20:26

Scottie Scheffler was detained by police near the PGA Championship course
Scottie Scheffler was detained by police near the PGA Championship course. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

World number one golfer Scottie Scheffler has been cleared by police following his arrest ahead of the US PGA Championship.

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The golf pro was charged with assaulting a police officer outside the course after allegedly trying to get around a traffic jam caused by an earlier unrelated accident, in which a pedestrian died after being struck by a shuttle bus.

Tournament officials said they were "devastated" by the death of local man John Mills, who was working for an on-site vendor at Valhalla.

Scheffler was detained but released just in time to tee off at around 10.08am local time (15:08 BST).

The Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections, who posted a mugshot of the world number one, said he was booked in at 7.28am local time and released at 8.40am.

Arriving on the course, Scheffler described his arrest as "a big misunderstanding" following "a very chaotic situation".

In footage shared very widely online, Scheffler, 27, was earlier seen being led into a police car in handcuffs as he tried to enter the club before his second round of the PGA Championship.

Scheffler 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 - but all criminal charges were dismissed on Wednesday.

Read more: World No1 golfer Scottie Scheffler 'in shock' after being arrested as he reveals he warmed up for US PGA in jail cell

Read more: World No1 golfer Scottie Scheffler charged with assaulting police officer outside US PGA Championship

Jefferson county attorney Mike O'Connell told the court: "Based upon the totality of the evidence, my office cannot move forward in the prosecution of the charges filed against Mr Scheffler.

"Mr Scheffler's characterisation that this was a 'big misunderstanding' is corroborated by the evidence.

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

Golfer Scottie Scheffler detained by police

A statement by LMPD read: "We respect the County Attorney's decision, and we respect the judicial process.

"LMPD will remain focused on our mission to serve the city of Louisville and mitigate violent crime.

"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."

Speaking after his arrest, Scheffler previously said: "I was pretty rattled to say the least.

"The officer that took me to the jail was very kind. He was great. We had a nice chat in the car, that kind of helped calm me down.

"I was never angry. I was shaking for like an hour, I would say in shock and in fear. Coming out here and trying to play today was definitely a challenge, but I did my best to control my mind, control my breathing."

He said he was not wearing a watch and had no access to his phone, so only began thinking about making his tee time when he saw himself on TV from his cell.

"The officers downstairs, they were discussing how long it was going to take me to get released," he said.

"Obviously we have to go through all the due process and everything. I was able to kind of see a bit of the TV, and then I laid down and then I started to stretch a little bit once I got my heart rate down a little bit."

Scottie Scheffler during the PGA Championship, after returning to the course following his arrest
Scottie Scheffler during the PGA Championship, after returning to the course following his arrest. Picture: Alamy

Scheffler is reported to have been asked to stop his vehicle, but he kept driving for around 20 yards.

A police officer told an ESPN reporter who was near the scene: “Right now he’s going to jail.

“He’s going to jail and there’s nothing you can do about it. Period.”

The second round of the 2024 PGA Championship was delayed by around 80 minutes due to the pedestrian fatality.

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