Scottie Scheffler Arrested on Way to PGA

A truly bizarre spectacle.

CNN (“Scottie Scheffler arrested outside PGA Championship and charged with assault on police officer“):

World No. 1 golfer and Masters champion Scottie Scheffler was arrested and charged with a felony and other counts Friday morning outside the PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, dramatically upending one of golf’s major tournaments.

Scheffler was charged with second-degree assault on a police officer – a felony – along with lesser charges of third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic, according to Jefferson County court records. He’s been released from jail, according to the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections.

CNN has reached out to representatives for Scheffler, who returned to the course after his arrest. A spokesperson for the PGA of America, the organizer of the PGA Championship, told CNN, “As this is an ongoing situation, we will let you know of any updates as they come.”

The incident began when Scheffler drove to the Valhalla Golf Club for the second round of the tournament, according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, who witnessed and filmed the arrest.

Police presence around the entrance to the course was elevated due to the fatal accident involving a shuttle bus carrying people to the course. Louisville Metro Police Department spokesperson Dwight Mitchell said a pedestrian was killed after attempting to cross the main road leading to the course and being hit by the bus.

When Scheffler arrived, he attempted to drive around the crash scene on a median, according to ESPN, which first reported Scheffler’s detention.. “A police officer instructed Scheffler to stop, but Scheffler continued to drive about 10 to 20 yards toward the entrance,” ESPN said.

“Scheffler then stopped his vehicle at the entrance to Valhalla. The police officer then began to scream at Scheffler to get out of the car. When Scheffler exited the vehicle, the officer shoved Scheffler against the car and immediately placed him in handcuffs,” Darlington posted on X. Scheffler was in a marked player courtesy vehicle, Darlington said on ESPN.

ESPN (“Scottie Scheffler arrested before PGA Championship Round 2“) adds:

Scheffler faces charges of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic. The assault charge is a felony; the others are misdemeanors.

Major Jason Logsdon of the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections told ESPN that Scheffler was released at 8:40 a.m. ET Friday without bail. He arrived at Valhalla less than an hour before he was scheduled to tee off at 10:08 a.m. ET.

Scheffler’s attorney, Steven Romines, said it would be up to Scheffler whether he plays today in the second round.

[…]

According to ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who witnessed the incident, Scheffler was trying to drive around the crash scene on a median. A police officer instructed Scheffler to stop, but Scheffler continued to drive about 10 to 20 yards toward the entrance.

At one point, an officer attached himself to the side of Scheffler’s car. Scheffler stopped his car as he turned into the entrance of Valhalla Golf Club.

After about 20 to 30 seconds, Scheffler rolled down his window to talk to the officer. The officer grabbed Scheffler’s arm to pull him out of the vehicle, according to Darlington. The officer reached inside the vehicle to open the door, and once Scheffler was pulled out, he was pushed against the car and placed in handcuffs.

Darlington was standing at the entrance when Scheffler was detained. Darlington said Scheffler turned to him and asked, “Can you help?”

According to Darlington, an officer instructed him to back away.

“You need to get out of the way,” the officer told Darlington. “Right now, he’s going to jail, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Romines, told ESPN that the golfer attempted to enter Valhalla Golf Club as he had been instructed to earlier, unaware there had been a fatal wreck just up the road.

“He was going into Valhalla to work out,” Romines said. “He was getting ready for his tee time. They were directing traffic. He held his credential out and was going in like they’d been instructed to. Apparently, there had been a traffic accident, maybe even a fatality, down the road, and that had changed the traffic patterns, and he was unaware of that.”

Romines, speaking outside the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, said the officer who attempted to stop Scheffler wasn’t part of the regular event traffic detail at Valhalla Golf Club, “so that’s where the miscommunication arose.”

“They are allowed to go through, that’s why they have the credential and the wave-through,” Romines said. “He was unaware there had been a wreck, and he proceeded like they’d been instructed to. He did exactly as he was instructed to enter the premises.”

Romines said Scheffler would cooperate fully with police, and “we’ll deal with it as it progresses.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bill Jempty says:

    At one point, an officer attached himself to the side of Scheffler’s car. Scheffler stopped his car as he turned into the entrance of Valhalla Golf Club.

    second-degree assault on a police officer is a felony. That’s why Scheffler was arrested and he’s lucky his ass is still not in jail. Would you or I had gotten our release from jail under similar circumstances so expedited? I don’t think so.

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  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    Scheffler’s lucky he’s not black…

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  3. DrDaveT says:

    @Bill Jempty:

    second-degree assault on a police officer is a felony

    What did you read in that description that qualifies as assault, of any degree? By Scheffler, I mean — the cop assaulted Scheffler, but we know how that goes.

    Yes, Scheffler should have stopped when instructed to stop. Clearly, though, he was charged for disrespecting authoritay, not any kind of assault.

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  4. DK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Scheffler’s lucky he’s not black…

    Aren’t we all!

    …oh, wait, I am black.
    :-/

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  5. James Joyner says:

    @DrDaveT: According to Kentucky statute:

    (1) A person is guilty of assault in the second degree when:
    (a) He intentionally causes serious physical injury to another person; or
    (b) He intentionally causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly
    weapon or a dangerous instrument; or
    (c) He wantonly causes serious physical injury to another person by means of a
    deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.
    (2) Assault in the second degree is a Class C felony.

    I’d guess continuing to drive after the officer has grabbed onto the car is the “assault” here, with the car as the “dangerous instrument.” The PD claims the officer suffered minor injuries to his wrist and knees and had his uniform trousers ripped.

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  6. Jen says:

    What an entitled jerk. I wonder where he gets the idea that an officer’s directions are just suggestions that he can ignore?

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  7. Paul L. says:

    @Jen:
    You love Stop and Frisk Bootlicker? What is the law or case law that you must unquestionably obey all unlawful cop orders.
    So when bad cops give unlawful orders saying you can’t record them in public?

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  8. As my brother put it to me this morning, this feels like “Do you know who I am?” meets “Respect my authority!”

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  9. Bill Jempty says:

    FWIW- Scottie Scheffler police report: Officer who tried to stop golfer ‘transported to hospital’

    A few other things

    Back in my news blogging days, I used to write and comment a great deal on actions taken by judges or law enforcement in South Florida that I thought was wrong.

    I used to blog heavily about golf at OTB Sports. Professional golf and the police blotter don’t often come together.

    Talking about blacks in golf, other than Tiger Woods there have been few successful. Between 79- 86, Calvin Peete had 12 wins. Jim Thorpe won 3 tournaments in the 80’s. Before that Lee Elder won 4 times, Charlie Sifford 2 times. Almost totally forgotten are Pete Brown and Bill Wright, respectively the first black to first win a PGA Tour Event and first to win a USGA Championship.

    Jim Dent won 10 or so Senior tour events as did Thorpe. Charles Owens had a couple of highly successful Senior seasons in the 1980’s.

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  10. gVOR10 says:

    Details matter, and we don’t know them. But this sure sounds like a root for injuries situation.

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  11. just nutha says:

    @Jen: My understanding is that he got 2 conflicting orders (it seems he’d been waved through– just like at dozens of other events). The problem may center on which one he chose to follow.

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  12. Raoul says:

    I have always found to be incredibly stupid when a person reaches to a driver of a running vehicle through the window.

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  13. Paul L. says:

    We will soon know how true the police narrative is by how much the police and their union fight against releasing any dash and body cam footage.

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  14. al Ameda says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    As my brother put it to me this morning, this feels like “Do you know who I am?” meets “Respect my authority!”

    I hear that, I second that.

    Look, I’m pretty sure that it’s more difficult to be a police officer now than it was 3, 4, or 5 decades ago, but wow ….

    I question the quality of the training the new wave of officers is getting. It seems that many simple incidents and occurences are escalated by the officers. In this case why didn’t the officer let go in the moment, not reach into the vehicle to stop Scheffler, just let Scheffler park the vehicle, then deal with him at that point? Scheffler was wrong here, and the officer made the situation worse.

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  15. dazedandconfused says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    They may both be lucky in that. Assuming the narratives as reported pan out, and since the witness is a professional reporter they probably will, the officer just might be able to keep his job IF this is his first “issue”. Pretty iffy though, still going to get a lot of press.

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  16. Jay L Gischer says:

    What is the situation where police are controlling traffic and give you an unlawful order to stop and wait, which entitles you to ignore it? Can someone cite an instance of that happening? Can someone describe a hypothetical?

    I’m just not seeing it. As annoying as it can be, if the traffic cop says wait, you wait. If you have an injured person on the way to the hospital, maybe … But does that make it an unlawful order that you can justly ignore?

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  17. EddieiinCA says:

    I have met Scotty Scheffler on several occasions. One time I spent almost 9 hours with him working on a commercial. He’s very nice, conservative, religious guy.

    When the full story comes out, I think we will learn that he was given conflicting information and was confused.

    He’s a very humble individual. And I would be very surprised if he pulled the “do you know who I am?” card. That’s not who he is. This is a guy that is kind to parking lot attendants.

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  18. DrDaveT says:

    @EddieiinCA:

    When the full story comes out, I think we will learn that he was given conflicting information and was confused.

    That was my guess. He was told that the correct procedure if there’s confusion at the gate is to show your credential and keep rolling. If he had the windows up, he probably didn’t hear anything the cop yelled at him. When he quickly realized that something unusual was happening, he stopped and rolled his window down.

    If I were driving on a median trying to get around a crowd, I would probably not notice if some idiot had grabbed onto my car and was getting dragged, at least not immediately. Sane people don’t attach themselves to moving vehicles, and they will tend to be in the blind spots.

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  19. Tony W says:

    @Jen: Yeah, that pretty much sums up the attitude of many, many PGA golfers.

    Some are cool people, but there’s nothing like being told you are awesome over and over again from childhood to ruin a person’s character.

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  20. Matt says:

    @al Ameda: Police in the USA are trained to escalate escalate escalate until they have “control”. It’s basically the opposite of how police are trained in Europe.

    Seems a lot of ex military end up working as police officers for a career. That presents some problems of specific natures. Add in the lack of accountability for bad apples and…

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  21. Paul L. says:

    @Paul L.:
    Coverup

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said there isn’t any body camera footage of the incident involving Scottie Scheffler and Louisville Metropolitan Police.

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  22. Paul L. says:

    @Paul L.:
    Time for a mea culpa from the bootlickers here.
    Video shows the cop lied.

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