Golfer Scottie Scheffler arrested at PGA event in Louisville

Golfer Scottie Scheffler arrested at PGA event in Louisville

Scottie Scheffler, the world’s top golfer, was arrested Friday and charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and reckless driving outside a PGA Championship event in Louisville, Kentucky.

According to an ESPN reporter who witnessed the incident, Scheffler, 27, was arrested after he was seen driving on a median toward the entrance to Valhalla Golf Club, the site of the event, and initially obeying an officer’s direction to go Stop not followed.

At that time, traffic was diverted in front of the entrance after a man was hit and killed by a shuttle bus that same day.

According to a police report, around 6:16 a.m. ET, Scheffler turned into the oncoming lane to avoid traffic and gain access to the golf course.

An officer in uniform and wearing a high-visibility rain jacket stopped Scheffler and attempted to give him instructions, but the golfer “refused to comply and accelerated forward at a slow pace.” [the officer] to the ground,” the report says.

The officer, Detective Bryan Gillis of the Louisville Metro Police Department, “suffered pain, swelling and abrasions to his left wrist and knee” and was taken to a hospital, the report from local NBC affiliate WAVE3 said.

The report also states, “Detective Gillis’ uniform pants, valued at approximately $80, were damaged beyond repair.”

In a statement shortly before his scheduled tee time Friday morning, Scheffler called the incident the result of a “big misunderstanding.”

Mugshot of PGA golfer Scott Alexander Scheffler, who was arrested on May 17, 2024 on charges of assaulting a police officer after attempting to enter the PGA Championship venue.

Source: Louisville Metro Police Department

“This morning I followed police instructions. It was a very chaotic situation, understandably given the tragic accident that had occurred before,” Scheffler said in a post on his official Instagram account.

“There was a big misunderstanding about what I thought was being asked of me,” he said. “I never intended to disobey any of the instructions. I hope I can put that aside and focus on golf today.”

The Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections website showed Scheffler was arraigned at 7:28 a.m. ET.

The booking information initially listed charges of second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer – a felony – as well as third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and failure to obey signals of an officer directing traffic.

According to WAVE3, Scheffler was released from the Louisville facility shortly before 9 a.m. ET without bail.

Scottie Scheffler arrives on the course during the second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 17, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ben Jared | PGA Tour | Getty Images

“We just let everything take its course, that’s the extent of what we know. “It’s moving pretty quickly right now, but we’ll hear the case as it comes,” Scheffler’s attorney Steve Romines told reporters after the golfer’s release.

In a statement to CNBC, Romines said Scheffler drove to the golf course to begin preparations for the preliminary round and to proceed “as directed by another traffic officer.”

“It was a very chaotic situation due to the combination of event traffic and a traffic fatality in the area,” Romines said.

“In the confusion, Scottie is alleged to have disregarded another officer’s traffic signals, which led to these charges,” the attorney said, adding, “Multiple eyewitnesses have confirmed that he did nothing wrong, but simply proceeded as instructed.”

“He stopped immediately when asked to do so and at no time did he attack an officer with his vehicle,” Romines said.

Scottie Scheffler of the USA and his caddy Ted Scott go to the driving range during the second round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 17, 2024.

Ross Kinnaird | Getty Images

Scheffler teeed off from the 10th hole just after 10:08 a.m. ET on the second day of the championship. He arrived at Valhalla Golf Club around 9:10 a.m. ET, giving him less than an hour to prepare.

Reached for comment, both the PGA Tour and the PGA of America referred Scheffler’s statement to CNBC.

ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington said Friday morning that he saw Scheffler “being arrested by police officers and placed in handcuffs in the back seat of a police vehicle after trying to get around what he believed to be security guards “.

Scottie Scheffler tees off on No. 10 to begin his second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 17, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Matthew Maxey | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

“When he failed to stop, the officer clung to the vehicle. Scheffler then traveled another 10 yards before stopping the car,” Darlington said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

“The officer then grabbed his arm and attempted to pull him out of the car before Scheffler finally opened the door, at which point the officer pulled Scheffler out of the car, pushed him against the car and immediately handcuffed him,” Darlington said.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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2024-05-17 20:11:02