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Star golfer Scottie Scheffler’s arraignment postponed after arrest during PGA Championship

todayMay 20, 2024

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(LOUISVILLE, K.Y.) — No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler’s arraignment has been postponed nearly two weeks following his arrest on charges alleging he ignored police traffic signals and assaulted a police officer while in Louisville, Kentucky, for the PGA Championship.

The athlete was driving near the Valhalla Golf Club Friday morning when he allegedly drove past a police roadblock and injured an officer with his vehicle, according to the police report. He was arrested hours before his second-round tee time at the PGA Championship.

Scheffler, 27, was initially scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday morning on charges of second-degree assault of a police officer — a felony — as well as third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic, according to police. The arraignment has been postponed to June 3 at 9 a.m., online court records show.

The district judge presiding in the case granted on Monday the defense’s motion to continue the arraignment “over the objection of Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell,” a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, Josh Abner, said in a statement to ABC News. “Our office continues to gather information in the case.”

Scheffler’s attorney, Steve Romines, said in a statement to Louisville ABC affiliate WHAS that they plan to plead not guilty to the charges.

Scheffler was arrested about an hour after a deadly accident near the golf course. Around 5 a.m. Friday, a man was fatally struck by a shuttle bus as he tried to cross a road near the course holding the PGA Championship, according to a statement released by the Louisville Metro Police Department. The victim was identified as PGA Championship Tour volunteer John Mills.

The roadblocks and confusion over the accident allegedly led Scheffler to drive past police who were on site, according to reports from ESPN. Scheffler allegedly refused to comply with a police officer’s request to stop and “accelerated forward,” dragging the detective to the ground, according to the police report. The officer was taken to the hospital after suffering “pain, swelling, and abrasions to his left wrist and knee.”

Scheffler called the incident a “big misunderstanding.”

“This morning, I was proceeding as directed by police officers,” Scheffler said in a statement on social media. “It was a very chaotic situation, understandably so considering the tragic accident that had occurred earlier, and there was a big misunderstanding of what I thought I was being asked to do. I never intended to disregard any of the instructions.”

Romines told WHAS that Scheffler was following orders from one officer and there was a “miscommunication” with the officer who attempted to stop him.

“In the confusion, Scottie is alleged to have disregarded a different officer’s traffic signals resulting in these charges,” Romines said in the statement. “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.”

ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who witnessed the altercation between Scheffler and police, described the scene on social media, writing, “[A] police officer attempted to attach himself to Scheffler’s car, and 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.”

There is no body camera footage of the incident between Scheffler and police, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg told reporters on Saturday. However, another angle of the incident, from a “fixed camera” across the street, does exist and will be released in the coming days, he noted.

The Louisville Metro Police Department will conduct an internal investigation of Scheffler’s arrest, Greenberg told WHAS on Monday.

“If there are violations of policies that took place, they will be very clear with that and we will deal with that appropriately,” Greenberg told the station.

Scheffler was released from jail and returned to the course about an hour before his 10:08 a.m. tee time on Friday. He ended up finishing tied for eighth place in the PGA Championship — the second major of the year.

“Saturday morning, I think it finally hit me what happened,” he said during Sunday’s press briefing following the final round, calling the tournament “hectic.” “I did my best to leave that behind me and come out here and compete and do what I love.”

The PGA of America said in a statement Friday that it is “fully cooperating as local authorities review what took place.”

“Our primary concern today remains with the family of John Mills, who lost his life in a tragic accident early this morning while reporting to work,” the statement said.

Scheffler has won four tournaments on the tour this year, including a dominant performance at The Masters in April — his second Masters win and second major victory as well. He also won back-to-back marquee events in March at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship.

ABC News Jon Haworth contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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