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The saga of Scheffler's arrest is a curious one

Scottie Scheffler's attorney, Steve Romines, outside the Jefferson County Hall of Justice on Wednesday.

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The strangest golf story of our time appears to have come to an end Wednesday with word from a Louisville court that four charges (three counts, one misdemeanor) against the world's top male golfer and Masters champion, Scottie Scheffler, have been dismissed. Lead prosecutor Mike O'Connell found no probable cause in his investigation into the events that led to Scheffler's arrest on May 17 and led to the charges being dismissed.

“Mr. Scheffler's interpretation that this was, quote, 'A gross misunderstanding,' close quote, is borne out by the evidence,” O'Connell told the judge at the Jefferson County Hall of Justice.

Borrowing from the Grateful Dead, how long has it been, 12 freaking days.

This mind-blowing episode, as if it needed reminding, began on a Friday morning earlier this month in the pre-dawn darkness outside Valhalla Golf Club, site of the PGA Championship. Scheffler, who was trying to avoid traffic outside the gates, pulled into a nearby lane where he was met by a police officer wearing a reflective vest who was not impressed by Scheffler's driving. After a brief interaction with the officer, Scheffler left and headed for the club's door.

What happened next remains a mystery. The police report on the incident says that Det. Bryan Gillis was “dragged” by Scheffler's SUV, resulting in injuries to his left wrist and knee, and, in details that became social media catnip, damage to his uniform pants “worth about $80;” eyewitnesses said that the policeman was “stuck” or running next to the car and may have tripped; Scheffler, on this matter, did not say much at all. The video evidence is also flawless: Gillis had not turned on his body camera, and security camera footage of the scene was obscured by the bus.

Gillis arrested Scheffler, who later that morning was taken to the Louisville Municipal Department of Corrections and charged with three counts of impaired driving and second-degree assault on a police officer, a felony. On Wednesday of this week, all charges were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they will not be reopened. Case closed.

After the trial, which Scheffler did not attend, Scheffler's attorney, Steve Romines, held a press conference outside the courthouse that was as much a victory as it was an information gathering. After insisting that his client is ready to go to trial if the charges are not dismissed, Romines added that Scheffler was not interested in suing the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department because he “wanted to move on” and did not want to be stuck in Louisville. taxpayers and the bill.

“Scottie Scheffler, you can't find one person you can't say a bad word about,” Romines said. “If he's in a police car after being falsely arrested, he's still a perfect gentleman.”

As it happened, a few hours before the charges were dropped, a new video of Scheffler handcuffed in the back of a police car was circulating on social media. The footage comes from the body camera of another officer Scheffler had spoken to that morning.

“I didn't know he was a police officer,” Scheffler said of Gillis. “I thought you were one of those guards, I was wrong. And I was passing by, he-“

PGA golfer Scottie Scheffler speaks to the media following his arrest Friday morning and following his round on May 17, 2024.

'Horror of inclusion': New video of Scottie Scheffler's arrest adds another context


Alan Bastable

“Stop, stop there,” intervened the policeman. “Why does that mean you are a security guard or a policeman?”

Scheffler: “Because—”

Policeman: “Someone is telling you to stop.”

Scheffler: “You're right. I had to stop. I got impatient because I was late on my tee time. And when he got to the car, he grabbed my shoulder and hit me, and I—”

Policeman: “I'm trying to stop you, aren't I?”

Scheffler: “Yes.”

Manager: “Okay.”

Scheffler: “It seemed like there was anger because the door was open. And I pulled [up] a little because I'm afraid. I thought he was going to start hitting me, I didn't know who he was. He didn't tell me he was a police officer. All I saw was a yellow jacket. I didn't know what you were doing.”

Romines, in his Wednesday press conference, was asked about Scheffler's comments from behind the wheel and whether they contradicted Romines' contention that Scheffler was flawless.

“The statements that Scottie made after his arrest are completely inconsistent with what he's saying right now,” said Natalia Martinez, a reporter for Wave 3, the Louisville NBC affiliate. “He admits he lost his patience and went too far.”

Romines responded angrily: “No, this is what happened. He is interrogated after a very stressful situation and the policeman asks him leading questions trying to get him to agree with him. And that's why you don't talk to the police, because they will try to put words in your mouth.

“They are trying to get him to admit something he didn't do, the video evidence shows that he didn't do it.”

Scheffler's words, in a statement released Wednesday, took a softer tone than his attorney's.

“As I have said before, this was an unfortunate misunderstanding,” Scheffler's statement read. “I have no ill will towards Officer Gillis. I want to put this incident behind me and move on, and I hope you will do the same. Police officers have a tough job and I have a lot of respect for them. This was the worst miscommunication in a critical situation.”

Gillis also issued a statement, which seemed to favor him due to the absence of the police department's logo on the paper. The top of the one-page note, which Gillis shared with Wave 3, includes only the date and IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

“Mr. Scheffler and I agree that there will be no ill will in this going forward,” Gillis wrote. “Instead of speaking badly in public, he chose to speak with dignity, humility and respect. My family and I appreciate that.”

Gillis then expressed his regret for Romines' courtroom remarks.

“It was unfortunate and disturbing to hear Steve Romines' comments today that he was 'imprisoned in a lie' and that he impugned my honesty and integrity. I would be surprised and disappointed if Mr. Scheffler actually took part in making those statements. To be clear, I was drugged in the car, passed out, and had visible injuries to my knees and wrist. I will recover from it, and it will be okay. This is the extent of my comment about the incident.”

Only it wasn't.

In what might be a fitting book to the wild and unexpected events of the past two weeks, Gillis added a surprising and surreal caption to the end of his statement.

“Yes, the department bought us $80 worth of fancy pants,” he wrote, tongue firmly in cheek. “For those involved, they are really spoiled. But Scottie, it's all good. I never thought I would get the most popular pants in the country for a few weeks because of this. Take care and be safe. – Bryan”

Alan Bastable Editor

As editor-in-chief of, Bastable is responsible for the editorial direction and voice of one of the game's most respected and heavily trafficked news and services outlets. He wears many hats – planning, writing, imagining, developing, dreaming in one day when he breaks 80 – and feels privileged to work with an insanely smart and hard-working team of writers, editors and producers. Before taking over, he was the features editor at GOLF Magazine. A graduate of the University of Richmond and the Columbia School of Journalism, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.

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