Kentucky prosecutors drop all charges against golfer Scottie Scheffler

All charges against top golfer Scottie Scheffler were dropped Wednesday after a Kentucky prosecutor said the high-profile arrest amounted to a "big misunderstanding."

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell told the court that the evidence against Scheffler doesn't even meet the lower standard of "probable cause."

"Therefore based upon the totality of the evidence, my office cannot move forward in the prosecution of the charges filed against Mr. Scheffler," O'Connell told the court, dropping all charges.

Scottie Scheffler looks on from the 17th green at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. (Tim Heitman / Getty Images)
Scottie Scheffler looks on from the 17th green at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. (Tim Heitman / Getty Images)

Scheffler, the world's No. 1-ranked player, was arrested May 17 outside Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville during the PGA Championship.

He was accused of failing to follow orders from police who were investigating a fatal accident outside the club earlier that morning. Police alleged he dragged Detective Bryan Gillis, who was trying to stop Scheffler's car, at about 6 a.m.

But Scheffler insists he was following police directions on how to enter the club ahead of that day's second-round action, and he said his arrest was the result of miscommunication.

“He’s glad it’s over," Steve Romines, Scheffler’s attorney, told reporters outside court.

Scheffler had considered suing Louisville authorities, but Romines said he didn't want that "distraction."

"Litigation is a distraction for anyone," Romines said. "And the truly historic season he is having right now, being involved in litigation would be a distraction. "

Scheffler was led away in handcuffs and booked into custody on allegations of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic.

"Mr. Scheffler's characterization that this was a 'big misunderstanding' is corroborated by the evidence," O’Connell said. "Mr. Scheffler's actions and the evidence surrounding their [Scheffler and Gillis'] exchange during this misunderstanding do not satisfy the elements of any criminal offenses."

O’Connell said he doesn't believe Gillis did anything wrong.

"Detective Gillis was concerned for public safety at the scene when he initiated contact with Mr. Scheffler," O’Connell said.

Scheffler said he doesn't hold a grudge against Gillis.

"As I stated previously, this was an unfortunate misunderstanding," he said in a statement Wednesday on social media. "I hold no ill will toward Officer Gillis. I wish to put this incident behind me and move on, and hope he will do the same."

The Louisville Metro Police Department said in a statement that it "respects the judicial process."

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

The confrontation unfolded about an hour after a shuttle bus struck and killed Louisville resident John Mills, who was working for one of the vendors at the tournament, officials said.

Scheffler was booked into custody a little before 7:30 a.m. He was released and made his tee time about 2½ hours later.

He shot a 5-under 66, his second-best day of his four in Louisville, on his way to an eighth-place finish.

Scheffler, who wasn't in court Wednesday, would happily play in town again, his attorney said.

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