Golfer Scottie Scheffler Arrested for Felony Assault

Star golfer Scottie Scheffler was arrested on May 17, 2024, after being accused of dragging a police officer from his vehicle after allegedly refusing to follow the officer’s directions. He faces charges of second-degree assault, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic.

Scheffler was immediately arrested after the incident but was released the same day in time for him to participate in the championship and tie for eighth place. Here is what we know about this emerging story.

About the Charges

The incident occurred at about 6 a.m. as the star golfer was attempting to drive to Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Club for the second round of the PGA Championship when he came to the scene of a fatal car crash. A police officer claims that he tried to give instructions for Scheffler to stop but that he refused and dragged the officer attached to his vehicle forward, causing injury to him.

Other reports say that a previous officer had directed Scheffler, who was in a marked player’s vehicle with credentials visible, to proceed to the destination and that Scheffler didn’t do anything wrong.

The arresting officer, who has a checkered past and was disciplined for not activating his body camera during the interaction, said that he told Scheffler he could not proceed because a bus had been stopped from entering the area. He claims that Scheffler demanded to be let in and proceeded forward against his directions, causing him to be dragged and knocked down. The officer arrested Scheffler on the spot.

According to news reports, Scheffler says the incident was a “big misunderstanding” that occurred during a “chaotic situation.” Scheffler’s attorney says he is confident that the case will be dismissed or that he will be found not guilty, citing evidence that supports Scheffler’s statement. High-ranking police officials have privately stated that a felony charge in the incident is overreach.

Body Camera Policy

The Louisville Police Department implemented a body camera policy in 2020 after officers shot and killed a 26-year-old Black woman during a drug raid. The policy requires all officers to activate their cameras before engaging in all law enforcement activities and encounters. Because the police officer in question did not activate his body camera as required by the policy, police are having to rely on other cameras in the area and witness statements to explain what happened.

The Philadelphia Police Department has a similar body camera policy, which states these cameras must be activated during the following times:

  • Before responding to calls for service
  • During all law enforcement-related encounters
  • During all activities involving the general public

These policies have become necessary as instances of police violence have increased across the country, especially incidents involving individuals who are part of minority groups.

How Pennsylvania Defines Felony Assault

18 Pa. C.S. § 2702 defines the crime of aggravated assault in relevant part as attempting “to cause serious bodily injury to another” or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing such injury in a way that shows extreme indifference to the value of life or attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer or certain other public servants or government employees. This crime is classified as a felony of the first degree, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Charged with Assault? Contact The Zeiger Firm for Help

If you are facing assault charges, you need an experienced and aggressive legal defense. Contact The Zeiger Firm for a free case review and learn how we can help.

Update: As reported by The New York Times on May 29, 2024, all charges have been dropped against Scottie Scheffler.

Brian J. Zeiger, Esquire, is an experienced and successful criminal defense and civil rights attorney. He is a seasoned trial lawyer with significant experience before juries and judges. Brian understands civil rights cases, including Taser, Wrongful Death, Excessive Force, Police Brutality, Police Misconduct, Malicious Prosecution, Monell Claims, Sexual Assault, Prisoner’s Rights, Time Credit, Medical Malpractice, and Medical Indifference.