The criminal charges against Scottie Scheffler stemming from a traffic incident May 17 at the PGA Championship have been dropped.

Jefferson County attorney Mike O’Connell addressed the court on Wednesday.

“Therefore, based on the totality of the evidence, my office cannot move forward in the prosecution of the charges filed against Mr. Scheffler,” O’Connell said. “Mr. Scheffler’s characterization that this was ‘a big misunderstanding’ is corroborated by the evidence. The evidence that we reviewed supports the conclusion that Detective [Bryan] 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 during this misunderstanding do not satisfy the elements of any criminal offences. For these reasons, I now tender to the courts a motion and order to dismiss all these charges in this case against Mr. Scheffler with prejudice.”

Judge Anne Delahanty asked Scheffler’s attorney, Steve Romines, if he had any comment.

“Judge, it’s taken me a long time to understand that when I’m winning, don’t talk,” Romines said. “I have nothing to say. We accept it and have no objection to the county’s motion.”

The matter can be expunged within 60 days.

Scheffler released a statement: “Earlier today, I was informed by my attorney, Steve Romines, that all charges were formally dismissed in regard to the incident outside of Valhalla Golf Club on May 17. As I stated previously, this was an unfortunate misunderstanding. I hold no ill will toward Officer 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 this case is over. May John rest in peace.”

Scheffler was arrested on May 17 outside Valhalla Golf Club ahead of the second round of the PGA Championship and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic. Scheffler was alleged to have driven past a police officer against the officer’s instructions while trying to enter the club. Scheffler called the incident a misunderstanding, although a police report stated that Gillis was dragged by Scheffler’s car, which led to injury and damage of Gillis’ pants.

Romines had disputed the nature of the incident and promised to litigate the matter until Scheffler was “completely exonerated.”

“[Scheffler] was proceeding as directed by another traffic officer and driving a marked player’s vehicle with credentials visible,” said Romines. “In the confusion, Scottie is alleged to have disregarded a different officer’s traffic signals resulting in these charges. Multiple eyewitnesses have confirmed that he did not do anything wrong but was simply proceeding as directed. He stopped immediately upon being directed to and never at any point assaulted any officer with his vehicle.”

Louisville mayor Craig Greenberg had previously acknowledged that Gillis, the arresting officer, didn’t have his body camera activated during Scheffler’s arrest. According to Louisville Metro police policy, officers must turn on their body cameras before “engaging in all law enforcement activities and encounters.” Though there is video footage from a police cruiser’s dashboard as well as from a pole across the street from Valhalla, Greenberg asserted that video of the actual incident does not exist. The LMPD released both of those videos, both of which inconclusively showed the behaviour Scheffler was alleged to have done.

On Wednesday, Romines said that Scheffler did not intend to file civil charges against the Louisville police. “He wants to move on,” Romines said.

Scheffler returned to Valhalla after his Friday arrest and turned in a second-round 66, although followed with a 73 while admitting the chaotic situation had worn him down. Scheffler bounced back with a final-round 65, ultimately finishing in a tie for eighth. He is not in this week’s RBC Canadian Open field, but is expected to play at the Memorial Tournament beginning June 6. The U.S. Open at Pinehurst is the following week.

Image: Michael Reaves