Video shows one swimmer fighting with a security guard.
The Brazilian police have said that U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte and three of his teammates were not victims of a robbery and security guards only a pointed a gun at them because they were vandalizing a gas station.
Last week, Lochte said a gunman robbed him and three of his teammates after he left a party in Rio. But now different stories have caused authorities to raise eyebrows over the incident.
At first, an official denied anyone brandished a gun:
He said that around 6 a.m. on Sunday, Lochte, along with fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, stopped at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca, a suburb of Rio where many Olympic venues are located. One of the swimmers tried to open the door of an outside bathroom. It was locked.
A few of the swimmers then pushed on the door and broke it. A security guard appeared and confronted them, the official said.
The official says the guard was armed with a pistol, but he never took it out or pointed it at the swimmers.
According to the official, the gas station manager then arrived. Using a customer to translate, the manager asked the swimmers to pay for the broken door. After a discussion, they did pay him an unknown amount of money and then left.
But another official offered a different description:
The official, who has direct knowledge of the investigation, spoke on the condition of anonymity Thursday because he was not authorized to speak about an ongoing probe.
The official said the swimmers broke the bathroom door and the soap dispenser inside. Security footage from inside the station shows the swimmers vandalizing the bathroom.
The official said workers at the gas station went to see what the commotion was about. At that point, a security guard also came and confronted the swimmers, and pointed a gun. A second guard came behind him and pointed another gun.
However, Civil Police Chief Fernando Veloso said they would not arrest the men. He also said the security guard pulled his gun on the swimmers in order to get them under control. He does not believe the guard used excessive force. From CNN:
“In theory, one or all of them might be charged for false communication of a crime and for damaging private assets, the gas station. I’m not saying that they are charged right now because of that. We have to finalize the investigation and in theory that could be the case. This is not really a — this kind of crime will not lead to their arrest.”
My head is swimming.
Lochte has already returned to the states. Conger, Bent, and Feigen should give their official statements to the police today.
From The Washington Post:
Earlier Wednesday, a Brazilian judge ruled that the passports of fellow swimmers Feigen and Ryan Lochte should be seized after discrepancies emerged in their accounts of what transpired in early Sunday, after the four athletes left a dance party at the Club France official Olympic hospitality venue.
Judge Keyla Blanc de Cnop, from a special magistrate court set up for big sporting events, ruled that there were “possible divergences” in the versions of the robbery that the swimmers gave police.
In a statement released on the court’s website Wednesday, Blanc de Cnop said that in Lochte’s testimony to police, he said the athletes were stopped early Sunday by one robber who demanded all their money: $400. Blanc de Cnop said that Feigen, however, told police that the athletes were surprised by multiple robbers but that only one was armed.
Here is what Lochte told NBC about the alleged robbery:
“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte told Bush. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.
“And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”
However, the judge states that Feigen told the authorities that multiple robbers surprised the athletes, but only one brandished a gun.
Another official said the police cannot find the taxi driver or any witnesses of the robbery. Lochte and another swimmer admitted both were “intoxicated and could not remember what type and color of taxi they rode in or where the robbery happened” nor could either “say what time the events occurred.” The Washington Post reported:
Another doubt highlighted by the Brazilian judge concerns the time at which the swimmers reached the Athletes’ Village. The footage obtained by the Daily Mail shows them passing through a security check just before 7 a.m. — at least four hours after they were supposed to have left the party. In the footage, Lochte jokingly hits Feigen over the head with his Olympic credential.
“It was perceived that the supposed victims arrived with their physical and psychological integrity unshaken, even making jokes with each other,” the judge said, according to the court statement.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) immediately denied the robbery took place, but the US Olympic Committee shot back and confirmed someone robbed their swimmers:
*This is a developing story. Will provide updates as they become available.DONATE
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