‘Panic kind of set in’: New Scottie Scheffler arrest video adds further context

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

Scottie Scheffler speaking at the PGA Championship on the day of his arrest.

getty images

New body camera footage of the Scottie Scheffler arrest provides more detail about what happened in the moments after the world’s top-ranked golfer was handcuffed and led into the back of a police car outside the PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky., earlier this month.

The footage, which was recorded at a Louisville City Council public meeting and posted to Facebook on May 23, but which news outlets didn’t pick up on until Wednesday morning, shows Scheffler seated in the back of the police car talking to an officer about the events that led to Scheffler’s May 17 arrest.

One of the videos — multiple versions have been posted to various social-media accounts — begins with an officer reading Scheffler his Miranda rights. When that concludes, the officer said, “With those rights in mind, do you want to talk to me about what happened?”

“Please, please,” Scheffler implored.       

“My [rental] house is right up that road, and so I was planning on getting here at 5:50 this morning to start my workout for my tee time,” Scheffler said.

At the time, Scheffler was under the assumption that he was going off the 10th tee at 8:48 a.m. with Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman. But the traffic he had encountered on the way into Valhalla, the result of a police investigation into a pedestrian fatality, was wreaking havoc on the tournament, so much so that tournament officials would be forced to push back starting times.  

“I had to loop all the way around that way — it took me probably about a half hour,” Scheffler continued. “The police officer up there told me to come the opposite way of the traffic and then come in, and as I was pulling in my window was down and the officer told me to stop. First of all, I did not know he was a police officer. I thought he was one of those security guards, I was mistaken. And I was pulling by, he—”

“Wait, stop right there,” the officer interjected. “Why does that matter if he’s a security guard or a police officer?”

Scheffler: “Because—”

Officer: “Somebody’s telling you to stop.”

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Scheffler: “You’re right. I should have stopped. I did get a little impatient because I’m quite late for my tee time. And as he was reaching into the car, he grabbed my shoulder and hit me, like—”

Officer: “Trying to get you to stop, right?”

Scheffler: “Yes.”

Officer: “OK.”

Scheffler: “It seemed to be a little bit over aggressive because the entrance was open. And I pulled [up] a little bit because I was afraid. I thought he was going to start hitting me and I didn’t know who he was. He didn’t tell me he was a police officer. All I saw was the yellow jacket. I didn’t know what he was doing.”

Here, the officer countered that the arresting officer was wearing police gear and that “if somebody tells you to stop, no matter who it is, you don’t keep going. What happened is, you keep going and you took with him with you. You took him with your car and drug him, okay? Which is not a good thing.”

“Yeah,” Scheffler said. “I’m very aware that was [inaudible].”

“To make it even worse,” the officer continued, “when he asked you to get out of the car, you refused to get out of the car.”

“If I knew he was a police officer,” Scheffler said, “I would have been much less afraid. But panic kind of set in. As you can see, I’m still shaking because I was afraid. I didn’t know who he was. He didn’t say, ‘Police, get out of the car.’ He just hit me with his flashlight and yelled, ‘Get out of the car.'”

After stressing again that Scheffler should have stopped the car and alerting Scheffler that the arresting officer had been injured, the officer said, “For you right now, the main question is, are you going to jail, and it’s up to him. I don’t know.”

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“Am I able to speak with him?” Scheffler said.

“No, not at this time,” the officer says.

Scheffler did go to jail, at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, where he was booked and charged with three driving-related misdemeanors and second-degree assault of a police offer, which is a felony.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell is scheduled to address the court regarding the Scheffler case at 1 pm E.T. Wednesday, less than a week before Scheffler’s arraignment date. Scheffler’s attorney, Steve Romines, has scheduled a press conference for 1:30 pm Wednesday outside the Jefferson County Hall of Justice.

Several news outlets have reported that the charges against Scheffler will be dropped.

Terry Meiners, a broadcaster with WHAS in Louisville, tweeted Wednesday morning: “Charges against Scottie Scheffler will be dropped today. The agreement stipulates that both sides agree not to pursue any legal action related to the ramifications of the May 17 arrest.”

Alan Bastable

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s executive editor, Bastable is responsible for the editorial direction and voice of one of the game’s most respected and highly trafficked news and service sites. He wears many hats — editing, writing, ideating, developing, daydreaming of one day breaking 80 — and feels privileged to work with such an insanely talented and hardworking group of writers, editors and producers. Before grabbing the reins at GOLF.com, 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 foursome of kids.

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