Golf fan Tasered, arrested at Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A 36-year-old man attending the second round of The Players Championship was subdued by a Taser on Friday.

Travis Parmelee, of Jacksonville, was charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence, said St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Dave Messenger.

Messenger said course marshals notified officers that Parmelee was yelling at players and being belligerent near the 11th hole. Officers responded and attempted to calm Parmelee down, but they said he became more combative.

They tried to take Parmelee into custody, but he resisted and was Tasered once.

“He was at the point where it was time for law enforcement to step in,” Messenger said. “Our goal is to escort people off the property, but it was clear he wasn’t going to go with us.”

Parmelee pulled away as officers tried to put him into a golf cart, Messenger said, prompting one to touch him with a stun gun. Messenger said it was clear Parmelee had been drinking.

“Most people really want to watch golf, and others came out here to drink,” Messenger said.

The PGA Tour said in a statement that its position “has always been that anything that disrupts the competition or the enjoyment of our fans will be dealt with accordingly, as was the case today.”

The arrest came four days after a Philadelphia Police officer used a stun gun on a teenager dashing through the outfield during a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park.

It also followed an odd incident Thursday night at TPC Sawgrass.

Course superintendent Tom Vlach found a car parked on the par-3 No. 8 shortly after dark. According to a report filed by the Sheriff’s Office, Vlach found William John Rinaldi and Brianna Lynn Borelli inside the car with the engine running.

Rinaldi refused to turn the motor off and get out of the car, so Vlach called 911. Officers responded and found no damage to the green. Vlach declined to press charges as long as the two were issued a trespass warning.

“That was a strange one,” Messenger said.

  • Momma M

    I agree with Patrick. This man was asked to calm down, and then told he’d have to leave the area.. it wasn’t until he refused – that the cop was forced to take stronger action. I’m not sure what the stink is about tasers, they’re certainly a better option for Law Enforcement then a .45 Cops MUST enforce the laws, they MUST be aware of the innocent people around him, and they MUST protect themselves as well.
    Rather than question whether a taser was necessary, I would suggest we consider whether alcohol on the course, during a championship, is appropriate. Men/women playing should be able to play without being distracted by drunks! (Not to even mention the other spectators he likely encountered prior to the officer.)

  • Confedd

    yeeeup….seeing golf as an action packed game, I can understand this fan getting caught up in the action and loosing control of his better judgment. lol…swoosh.. smack.. golf clap..who has the keys to the cart… roflao and repeat…..

  • patrick

    memo to humans: behave yourself and you will almost certainly avoid the taser.