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Scottie Scheffler charges dropped after arrest outside PGA Championship

Charges against golfer Scottie Scheffler dropped
Charges against golfer Scottie Scheffler dropped 01:43

Prosecutors dropped criminal charges against Scottie Scheffler on Wednesday, less than two weeks after the world's top golfer was arrested outside the PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell told a judge his office couldn't move forward with the charges based on the evidence and he moved to dismiss the case.

Scheffler was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic when he was arrested outside Louisville's Valhalla Golf Club, which was hosting the tournament.

After the charges were dropped, Scheffler said on social media that he didn't hold any ill will toward the detective who arrested him.

"I wish to put this incident behind me and move on, and I hope he will do the same," Scheffler said. "Police officers have a difficult job and I hold them in high regard. This was a severe miscommunication in a chaotic situation."

Scheffler's attorney had denied that the golfer assaulted anyone. In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Scheffler said it was a "big misunderstanding" in a statement and said he "never intended to disregard any of the instructions."

O'Connell said Wednesday that the evidence corroborated Scheffler's characterization of the incident as a misunderstanding between him and the detective.

"Mr. Scheffler's actions and the evidence surrounding their exchange during this misunderstanding do not satisfy the elements of any criminal offenses," O'Connell said in court.

Scheffler didn't attend Wednesday's hearing. After court, Scheffler's attorney Steve Romines said his client was prepared to pursue a lawsuit against Louisville's police department if prosecutors moved forward with the criminal case next week.

"He does not wish to do that," Romines told reporters. "He wants to move on."

Romines said not pursuing a lawsuit wasn't part of a deal to get the charges dropped. He said Scheffler didn't want to collect taxpayer money over the incident.

"He doesn't wish the taxpayers of Louisville to pay him for whatever occurred," Romines said. "Also, too, litigation is a distraction for anyone, and the truly historic season he is having right now, being involved in litigation would be a distraction."

Scheffler was driving to the golf course early on May 17 to get ready for the second round when he got into traffic stemming from a shuttle bus fatally hitting a pedestrian, according to police. As Scheffler attempted to maneuver around the scene, police alleged he refused to comply with instructions and drove forward, dragging the detective to the ground.

The detective didn't have his body camera activated when the incident unfolded, which violated police procedures, officials said last week.

Video footage from a pole camera and police dashcam showed Scheffler being led to a police car.

Romines also confirmed Wednesday that leaked audio from what appears to be some kind of body camera video is Scheffler talking to police following his arrest.

In the audio, an officer can be heard saying, "Why does it matter if he's a security guard or a police officer, if somebody is telling you to stop."

Scheffler responds: "Yes, you're right, I should have stopped. I did get a little bit impatient because I'm quite late for my tee time."

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