Charges dropped against top golfer Scottie Scheffler

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (NewsNation) —  Charges were dropped against Scottie Scheffler 12 days after the world’s top golfer was arrested while trying to drive around the scene of a fatal crash on his way to the 2024 PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky.

Scheffler, who wasn’t required to attend the hearing, was represented by his attorney.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell asked for the charges to be dropped with prejudice, which both the judge and Scheffler’s defense attorney accepted.

“Mr. Scheffler’s characterization that this was ‘a big misunderstanding’ is corroborated by the evidence,” O’Connell said. “The evidence we reviewed supports the conclusion that (the arresting officer) 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 during this misunderstanding do not satisfy the elements of any criminal offense.”

Scheffler’s lawyer, Steve Romines, said he and his team were prepared to take the case to trial as “it’s obvious Scottie didn’t do anything wrong.”

“He was a victim here,” Romines said. While he maintained there are grounds for a civil lawsuit, Romines said Scheffler wants “no part of it.”

What charges did Scheffler face?

Scheffler was arrested in the early morning of May 17 for allegedly injuring a Louisville Metro Police Department officer with his car outside of Valhalla Golf Club.

During the incident, Scheffler allegedly attempted to drive around the scene of the crash that killed 69-year-old John Mills earlier that morning. He drove on a median with the misunderstanding he was being directed that way. The police officer allegedly instructed Scheffler to stop, but Scheffler continued about 10 to 20 yards toward the club’s entrance, according to police.

The arresting officer, Detective Bryan Gillis, attempted to “attach” himself to Scheffler’s car, prompting the golfer to stop his vehicle just short of the golf club’s entrance, police said. The officer yelled at Scheffler to remove himself from the vehicle. When he did, the officer reportedly shoved Scheffler against his car and placed him in handcuffs.

According to the police report, Gillis attempted to stop Scheffler but was allegedly “dragged” by the golfer’s vehicle and hospitalized. Romines, at a press conference, maintained Gillis was not dragged.

“There are multiple eyewitnesses to the incident” as well as statements from the county prosecutor’s office that confirm this, Romines said.

Gillis received medical treatment for pain, swelling and abrasions to his left wrist and knee. The police report also said that Gillis’ “uniform pants, valued at approximately $80, were ‘damaged beyond repair.’” Conflicting reports claim the officer attached himself to Scheffler’s car in an effort to stop him from driving forward.

Nursing home industry sues Biden administration over staffing rule

O’Connell called the scene ” confusing and chaotic” and mentioned that some officers had to be reassigned from their official duties after the accident.

During the court hearing, he urged people to pay tribute to Mills, who left behind a wife, four children and multiple grandchildren.

“My hope is that there will be more attention soon paid to Mr. Mills and his well-lived life,” O’Connell said, adding that Mills’ family has requested people make donations to the Bluegrass Center for Autism in his memory.

Arresting officer’s body camera wasn’t on

Gillis did not activate his body camera at the time of Scheffler’s arrest, which LMPD Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel said was against the department’s policy. She added that Gillis was counseled by his supervisor for violating the policy.

Last Thursday, LMPD released footage from the arrest that was captured by a fixed pole camera and the dashcam of a police car.

Months after Titan submersible, billionaire plans trip to Titanic depths

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said at a news conference that, per a request from the local prosecutor handling the case, any additional video or evidence related to the case will not be released until the conclusion of the legal process.

NewsNation investigative reporter Natasha Zouves and digital producers Taylor Delandro, Devan Markham and Jeff Arnold contributed to this report.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to PIX11.