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From world number one to a prison cell – and back again – Scheffler just wants to move on

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

 

May 30, 2024, updated May 30, 2024
Scottie Scheffler looks at his putt line on the second hole during the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, May 26, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero

Scottie Scheffler looks at his putt line on the second hole during the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday, May 26, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero

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 Valhalla Golf Club in heavy traffic, which 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 and 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”, but the former has now occurred after Jefferson county attorney Mike O’Connell tendered a motion of order 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.”

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.”

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

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The report alleged Scheffler refused to comply and “accelerated forward, dragging Detective Gillis to the ground” but there was no police bodycam footage after it had failed to be turned on.

Scheffler proceeded to be arrested and detained by Louisville Metropolitan Police Department, but claimed it was all a “big misunderstanding” upon his release, which allowed him to resume his participation in the US PGA Championship.

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

A statement by LMPD read: “We respect the county attorney’s decision, and we respect 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.”

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.

Romines said: “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.

“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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