Scottie Scheffler: I was shaking in ‘shock and fear’ after arrest at US PGA

Scottie Scheffler has spoken of his shock, confusion and fear after being arrested on his way to the US PGA Championship on a surreal and tragic Friday morning.

Scheffler was detained by Louisville Metro Police after trying to drive into the golf club in heavy traffic caused by an earlier unrelated accident in which a pedestrian died after being struck by a shuttle bus.

Tournament officials said they were “devastated” by the death of local man John Mills, who was working for an on-site vendor at Valhalla.

Scheffler, the world number one, 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.

Speaking after a remarkable second round of 66 which left him two shots off the clubhouse lead held by Collin Morikawa, Scheffler began by expressing his sympathies to the family of Mr Mills.

“I can’t imagine what they’re going through this morning,” Scheffler said.

“My situation will get handled. It was a chaotic situation and a big misunderstanding. I can’t get into what transpired, outside of my heart goes out to the family.”

Tee times in the second round were delayed by 80 minutes due to the fatal accident, with Scheffler arriving around an hour before his revised time.

A mugshot of the two-time major winner released by the Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections showed he had been released after an hour and 12 minutes.

“I was pretty rattled to say the least,” Scheffler admitted. “The officer that took me to the jail was very kind. He was great. We had a nice chat in the car, that kind of helped calm me down.

“I was never angry. I was shaking for like an hour, I would say in shock and in fear. Coming out here and trying to play today was definitely a challenge, but I did my best to control my mind, control my breathing.”

Scheffler said he was not wearing a watch and had no access to his phone, so only began thinking about making his tee time when he saw himself on television from his cell.

“When I was sitting in like the holding cell or whatever, there was a TV there and I could see myself on ESPN,” he added.

“The officers downstairs, they were discussing how long it was going to take me to get released.

“Obviously we have to go through all the due process and everything. I was able to kind of see a bit of the TV, and then I laid down and then I started to stretch a little bit once I got my heart rate down a little bit.”

ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who witnessed the incident, had earlier said on air: “Traffic had been backed up and building, Scottie Scheffler tried to enter Valhalla Golf Club using a side median, at which point a police officer instructed him to stop.

“Scheffler attempted to continue to go, the police officer then attached himself to the side of Scheffler’s car.

“Scheffler stopped the vehicle as he turned into Valhalla Golf Club at the entrance about 10 to 20 yards from the point at which the police officer first told him to stop.

“At that point the police officer instructed Scheffler to get out of the car.

“He rolled down the window, the police officer grabbed his arm and started pulling at it. He reached inside, opened the car door, pulled Scheffler out, pushed him up against the car, immediately placed him in handcuffs.”

According to the police report, Detective Gillis stopped Scheffler’s car and “attempted to give instruction”.

The report continued: “Subject refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging Detective Gillis to the ground. Detective Gillis suffered pain, swelling and abrasions to his left wrist and knees.

“He was transported to the hospital for further medical treatment by emergency medical personnel. Detective Gillis’ uniform pants, valued at approximately $80, were damaged beyond repair.”

In a statement, Scheffler’s attorney Steve Romines said the player was proceeding as directed by a traffic officer and is alleged to have disregarded signals from another officer “in the confusion”.

“Multiple eyewitnesses have confirmed that he did not do anything wrong but was simply proceeding as directed,” the statement added.

“He stopped immediately upon being directed to and never at any point assaulted any officer with his vehicle. We will litigate this matter as needed.”

LMPD had earlier released a statement on the traffic accident, which took place around 5am.

“Our preliminary investigation found that an adult male pedestrian was crossing Shelbyville Road south to north when he was struck by a shuttle bus that was travelling eastbound in the compulsory centre lane dedicated for buses,” the statement read.

“As a result, the pedestrian received fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene. The LMPD traffic unit is investigating.”


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