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*UPDATE* Brazil Police Said Lochte, Others Acted as Vandals, Not Victims

*UPDATE* Brazil Police Said Lochte, Others Acted as Vandals, Not Victims

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:

https://twitter.com/NicoleAuerbach/status/764867923378835456

*This is a developing story. Will provide updates as they become available.

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Comments

And this is relevant for what reason? I wish the Olympics would just go away.

    userpen in reply to persecutor. | August 18, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    “To develop a complete mind: Study the art of science; study the science of art. Learn how to see. Realize that everything is connected to everything else” – Leonardo DaVinci

    Chem_Geek in reply to persecutor. | August 18, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    And here we see the Conservative Republican hatred of any achievement that is not financial, not based on exploiting workers and employees and suppliers and customers.

    “Screw the Olympics. They’re only an individual opportunity to excel, and besides, it lets those damned furriners get a chance to shine.”

    Typical Conservative/Republican.

If the armed individuals posing as police were actually real police moonlighting as robbers, I can see why Brazilian officialdom might want to obfuscate the issue.

    InEssence in reply to tom swift. | August 18, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Yeah that was my take. What police station has two armed guards? I wouldn’t think that the armed guards would be armed with a pistol. In addition, the video inside the bathroom is probably a lie. They actually have a security camera inside a bathroom?

    The most likely story is the ones of the swimmers. The “armed guards” are probably crooks who are smart enough to tip the police.

I hate leaving Texas much less the USA. I’m a stick in the mud.

JackRussellTerrierist | August 18, 2016 at 3:41 pm

This is the US as scapegoat for Rio’s EPIC Olympic fail; Rio’s epic fail in general.

It’s on Fox now. An interminable interview with the police chief or whomever it is (Portuguese translator) alleging this and that from an alleged security guard at a gas station (who knows if he exists or if he’s even a security guard) and they want an apology for the “stain” that this “false” claim of robbery incident has placed on Rio.

He brushed off a couple questions about the British athlete who was robbed, stating it was still being investigated with the same high standard this case is being investigated.

Leave it to the American media to gang up on white athletes in support of a third-world cesspool’s effort to be remembered as “victims” rather than the craphole it is and the shoddy presentation they showed the world – such places being festering, pus-filled cankers on the world’s hindquarters.

Of course, the chief couldn’t answer how many tourists have complained of robberies and he’ll have to get back to him with an answer.

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | August 19, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I guess a story about 4 black track athletes who got very drunk, trashed a place of business and then filed a false police report to cover-up their crime would have had you equally indignant – at the athletes.

    Could it be you are a member of a species rarely seen in the light of day ‘impenitente racista blanco’? Liberals claim they exist, but conservatives say they don’t exist and if they did exist in the past, they were democrats.

    Yes, it is relevant to ask about other muggings, but the fact that Rio is dangerous has been covered ad nauseum. This story comes under the heading ‘man bites dog’.

I think it might be a good idea here to let this develop.

    Estragon in reply to Ragspierre. | August 18, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    The swimmers’ story has fallen apart completely.

    The usual idiots reacted immediately and incorrectly, much like their Cheeto Jesus.

      Sunhawk2 in reply to Estragon. | August 18, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      There’s a three minute gap in the surveillance video that was released, between the car stopping and the athletes being out of it (look at the time stamps). If you ‘cut out’ the portion of the athletes story that is cut out of the video and match it up to what is seen, the athletes story and the video match quite well.

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Sunhawk2. | August 19, 2016 at 9:43 am

        I saw the missing 3 minutes. Apparently Trump flew down to enjoy a little of the Olympics and get his mind off of the cheating that was stealing his presidency.

        He is clearly seen standing at a gas pump making a speech attacking the Muslims in the background who are destroying all of Brazil starting with the gas station.

I wonder how much money will have to be spread around to make this go away.

Char Char Binks | August 18, 2016 at 4:56 pm

If we can’t trust our second-most famous swimmer, whom can we trust?

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Char Char Binks. | August 18, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    If we can trust a movie actress about Alar, and the host of a television show for lonely women about hamburger, we can trust a swimmer about this.

I remember back in the day, when I was still only a lurker here, how this blog was the only one in my collection of “conservative must-reads” which didn’t immediately jump on the “OMG, French Socialist DSK is a RAPIST!!!” bandwagon.

I was really impressed with the practical application of “let’s get more facts before we jump, even if it costs us a few outrage-clicks” ethos of this place.

More info coming out-suggest we all wait for more info before judging.

The Friendly Grizzly | August 18, 2016 at 8:42 pm

So, who does one believe? Some full-of-himself athlete, or a law enforcement official in a country barely a step above a banana republic?

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | August 19, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Do you even know what a banana republic is? Do you know who created and propped up banana-republics and petro republics and other pseudo republics?

quiksilverz24 | August 18, 2016 at 11:47 pm

As usual, the cover-up is worse than the crime itself.

How does the potential for lying merit pulling them off their plane? They’re leaving and not pressing any charges, accusing specific persons, or demanding an investigation continue after they leave, so let them go. Instead the authorities are drawing even more attention to the issue of safety in Rio.

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to randian. | August 19, 2016 at 9:55 am

    They committed vandalism and filed a false police report. The fact that the US media has been hard on Rio probably motivated the police –

    1st: to investigate it as a mugging that they very much wanted to solve

    2nd: to clear their department and city when it became obvious it was a hoax.

    By all rights, they could have thrown the book at them. But apparently the authorities will settle for an admission, apology and a fine.

So, for the attorneys here, did the swimmers make a false police report?

It seems that the more we hear this incident, from police sources, the more accurate the information concerning the incident, provided by Lochte, et al, is. According to reports, Lochte reported that his cab was stopped by armed men, whom he assumed to be police. Rio police sources now acknowledge that the cab was stopped from leaving the gas station by armed men [uniformed?]. Lochte reported that the swimmers were extracted from the cab at gunpoint and that the armed men threatened them with pistols. The Rio police have since stated that the armed guards [possibly off-duty police officers] did, in fact draw their guns and threaten the swimmers. Lochte reported that the men removed money, and possibly other valuables from them. The police have now admitted that this did occur.

The only difference of opinion here is whether this was a legitimate action by the employees of the gas station to secure restitution for alleged damage done to the restroom by the swimmers, or if it constituted armed robbery. Remember, these are Americans,and they most likely do not speak the language. It is also reasonable to assume, if the police spokesman is any indication, that none of the people at the gas station spoke English, or spoke it well. So what we have actually got here?

This whole thing is the fault of the media, which ran with this story before they had all the facts. This is a non-issue, except for the fact that the Olympics have been a PR disaster for Brazil and this is a way to shift blame.

    Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | August 19, 2016 at 11:33 am

    “So what we have actually got here?”

    As usual, we have soooooo many words in apologia, and so much bullshit.

    What we KNOW we have here is a bunch of guys…team-mates, rah-rah…VERY late at night/early in the morning returning from a party.

    They feel it’s OK to force their way into a closed service station. Seems swell so far, except if they did it in Houston, they’d stand a REAL good chance of being shot dead.

    Caught in the act, they LIE OUTRIGHT. They publish their lies worldwide. They disgrace their nation, their families, and themselves.

    They were guests in a foreign nation. Did they, or did they NOT, reinforce the whole “Ugly American” image…???

      Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | August 19, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      So, let’s set the record staight here.

      First of all, the gas station was not CLOSED. It was open. They swimmer MAY have forced the door to the restroom open, but they were not forcibly entering a closed business.

      Second in the US, even in Houston, one would not expect to be shot for forcing open a restroom door.

      Third, exactly what do you think it would be called, in the US, if an armed security guard [or police officer] forced a person to turn over money at gunpoint? Now, this may be common practice in Rio, but these men were from the United States of America.

      Fourth, they did not make a report to the police until after the story had broken and the media was reporting that they had been robbed.

      Fifth, these men wee reportedly intoxicated, to some degree, and not versed in the language. Both of these facts may well have led to mistaken assumptions in communication.

      Sixth, the police account, which is being changed constantly, by the way, is falling more and more in line with the intial report made by the swimmers. Their cab was stopped [it was stopped from leaving the gas station] by armed men wearing what the swimmers thought to be police uniforms [the men were either uniformed security guards or off-duty police acting as security guards and were armed] and the men pointed pistols at them [this has now been confirmed by the Rio PD, who are claiming that the guards did so in fear of attack by the swimmers] and that money was taken from their possession [according to police 100 Reals and 20 dollars were taken from the swimmers, though the police are saying that it was a voluntary transfer of funds to pay for alleged damages].

      Figured it out yet? Brazilians, possibly police officers, used the threat of deadly force to stop someone suspected of damaging a door and either a mirror or a soap dispenser and then secured approximately $50 to “pay” for the damages. Then when the person who was forced to pay for the alleged “damages” complained, the Brazilian authorities attempted to paint them as lairs and to use the judicial system to vilify them.

      Based upon this, I suppose that you are planning to move to Rio, if Hillary loses the election.

        Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | August 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

        You are SOOOOOOOooooooo full of shit…!!!

        Lochte lied.

        “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 NBC’s “Today” the morning after the incident. “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 cellphone, he left my credentials.”

        Two of the others have apparently confirmed that Lochte lied.

        And, yes, in Houston at night, you certainly could get dead by tearing up a gas station…open or closed. Very, very justifiably dead in the right circumstances.

        You can test that with my full permission. A valid sample would be 20 attempts.

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Mac45. | August 19, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    “his cab was stopped by armed men” because they were fleeing the scene.

    “these are Americans,and they most likely do not speak the language” A bystander, who could translate, stepped forward.

    “removed money, and possibly other valuables” No valuables were taken. No wallet. An amount was agreed upon for restitution.

    “This whole thing is the fault of the media” They vandalized a gas station and filed a false police report. That is the fault of the media?

    Initially, in fitting with image of Rio promulgated by the media for weeks, the story was sensationalized as a mugging of high profile Americans in a lawless city. The police effort was proportional to the media hype. The police wanted to catch the culprits and prove they are not incompetent and that the city is not lawless. According to all accounts, the police started out by believing the Americans. The Americans were treated with respect and released.

    The police made efforts that probably went beyond what they normally do. Imagine their surprise when the facts didn’t match the complaint. At first they would have probably been confused and then they could have become pissed. I am actually amazed that they didn’t throw the book at the lying, disrespectful guests who libeled a city to cover up drunken, loutish behavior.

      “An amount was agreed upon for restitution.” is a funny way to describe an armed robbery. The swimmers were held at gun point (watch the video). They took all of their money. What part of armed robbery don’t you understand.

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to InEssence. | August 19, 2016 at 3:07 pm

        The part where they were trying to flee. The part where they kicked in a door and broke parts of a bathroom. The part with 4 big intimidating guys were stopped by a security guard who was authorized to have a gun.

        The swimmers contradict their story at the beginning. They claimed they were driving and pulled over by a man in unmarked car. Then they and the video show they stopped at the gas station. They ADMIT they lied. You live in an alternate universe where

        “War is peace.
        Freedom is slavery.
        Ignorance is strength.”

          Yeah but, kicking the door down and breaking the bathroom is an accusation. There is no evidence that they did that. So holding them at gun point and taking their money is armed robbery. The robbery was the crime.

          OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | August 19, 2016 at 5:24 pm

          @InEssence “Yeah but, kicking the door down and breaking the bathroom is an accusation.” An accusation backed up with a kicked in door, a video and witnesses.

          Rio is admittedly violent. That would explain a gas station that was open late at night having armed guards. “So holding them at gun point and taking their money is armed robbery” There was a negotiation, not a robbery. The swimmers wanted to leave. The guards wanted to hold them. Money was exchanged to make it ‘go away’. Exactly how voluntary was the exchange? Probably semi-voluntary. They weren’t going to walk away without paying.

          Is it how it would be handled in the good ole USA? Probably not. But I am sure there have been instances of vandalism in prosperous neighborhoods where parents paid the victim when the victim threatened to have the kids arrested. Do you think?

          There might be a way to fix your knee-jerk, but I don’t think your prejudices can be corrected to reflect reality. Mores the pity.

          Yeah right, they did not have video security in the bathroom. If they paid off the police, then why didn’t the police file a report that it was all settled? If the police filed a report, then why did it take the government so long to figure it out? Did the “police” turn the money over to the gas station? The gas station never said the bathroom was vandalized, and the gas station never said that the police paid them. The Olympians thought they were robbed. I would agree. If it was settled on the scene, then why charge the guy for a false report when he didn’t report anything?

          On the video, the “police” rob them at gun point, and never pay the gas station.

          There are no credible witnesses. You have four drunks and two robbers.

          It is hard to imagine how you can back Brazil. The olympian’s teammate’s mom is the one that made the report about an incident at a gas station, and Brazil keeps the guy until he pays $11K. I guess you figure it is guilt by association by association or something.

      Thank you for making my point. Until the MEDIA sensationalized this incident it was a rather minor foot note. One that normally would not even make the news. The media created this.

      Now, the Brazilian officials are understandably embarrassed by the atmosphere surrounding the Olympic games. The physical environmental problems have been atrocious [bodies and boy parts floating in water venues, etc.]. The crime is probably no worse than normal for Rio, but that is not a plus. Then this happens. Even if the swimmers fabricated the whole thing, which is becoming increasingly obvious they did not, it is so minor as to be laughable. Seizing passports? Please. The current extradition treaty between Brazil and the US allows Brazil to extradite a person indicted for perjury, including making false statements in an official document and all of the swimmers were known. Instead the Brazilian authorities create an international incident over nothing. And, as more information comes out it only makes them look like a banana republic which is using its legal system to extort money from Americans.

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Mac45. | August 19, 2016 at 3:14 pm

        “Even if the swimmers fabricated the whole thing, which is becoming increasingly obvious they did not” LOL

        They admit they did it. This is the last place in the universe that doesn’t believe that they vandalized a business. Was it a ‘big deal’? Let them do it in your business or your home and then we can discuss that.

        Americans invented ‘Banana Republics” – literally!

JackRussellTerrierist | August 19, 2016 at 11:34 am

It was a double-shakedown. That was a shakedown at the gas station and the other is by the police chief and the judge. The one athlete stuck there has to pay a $10,800 fine in order to leave.

A stinking, filthy rathole full of more corruption even beyond Hillary’s (ten-fold) and blatantlt in the open.

Anything to brutalize the U.S. by a third-world s#ithole, ad the U.S. press just lap it up with the ‘white privilege’ and ‘white athletes’ BS.

For those of you who have never spent any time in Rio, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You just don’t know.

Char Char Binks | August 21, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Why is Lochte apologizing when the video shows convincing evidence that he and his teammates were victims of an armed robbery?

    Char Char Binks in reply to Char Char Binks. | August 21, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    I just watched his interview with Matt Lauer, and I think I know the answer to my question.

    Lochte seems genuinely confused about the relative seriousness of his alleged act of vandalism and the robbery that he was subjected to. He doesn’t even seem to understand the definition of “robbery”, and neither does Lauer.

    Lochte is a dumb jock, so he has an excuse, but what is Lauer’s excuse for pretending not to know what a robbery is, and for berating and blaming a crime victim who, frankly, seems to be of below-average intelligence, or at least has no knowledge of the law.

    The swimmers were robbed, and Lochte, at least, is too stupid to know it. He seems to have spent more of his life in a pool than in a classroom or library.

      Char Char Binks in reply to Char Char Binks. | August 21, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      I may have been too harsh on Lochte. He may be right to refer to the crime as extortion rather than robbery, or to be not sure which category it falls into. Lauer is still an idiot.

A real update – it would appear our swimmers told the truth, with only a slight exaggeration:

“A USA TODAY Sports videographer who visited the bathroom Thursday found no damage to soap dispensers and mirrors and said none of those items appeared to be new. Some media accounts suggested the men had broken down a door, which USA TODAY Sports also did not observe.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/08/21/investigation-ryan-lochte-rio-olympics-authorities/89082232/

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