Ryan Lochte’s earlier account of the incident that occurred in Rio de Janeiro between him and three other U.S. Olympic swimmers is now being challenged by Brazilian authorities. Police are saying that he and his teammates were never robbed. Instead, the four men appeared to have vandalized and destroyed property in a Shell gas station.
Two of Lochte’s teammates, Jack Conger and Gunner Bentz, have been pulled out from a plane in Brazil as they were making their way back home to the U.S. They were brought to a police station in downtown Rio for questioning.
In a gas station, the teammates had reportedly broken a mirror and soap-holder, then proceeded to give the staff 100 reais or $20 in compensation. Gas station employees were seen hustling the swimmers out of the bathroom.
According to a report from CNN, the incident occurred in Rio’s Barra da Tijuca neighborhood. Security guards at the station detained all four swimmers, preventing them from leaving in a taxi. City police chief Fernando Veloso told Reuters that a security guard pulled a firearm after one of the swimmers “behaved erratically.”
Veloso insisted that the guard did not over-react in this instance. “From the moment the gun was pulled out, they calmed down. Once they were calm, the gun was lowered.”
From the security camera footage, three of the swimmers sat on the ground with their hands up. At some point, Lochte stood up as he argued with a guard. He was asked to sit down again. “There was no robbery as the swimmers described it,” insisted Veloso.
During an earlier interview with NBC, Lochte said he and his teammates were robbed at gunpoint by robbers, who said that they were police officers. Since the release of the security video, Lochte had given NBC’s Matt Lauer a revised version of his account of the incident, saying that while they were stopped at a gas station, there was a gun pointed towards his direction during the robbery.
According to Veloso, “one or two or all four” of the men can be held responsible for vandalism and falsely reporting a crime. Neither offense are punishable with a jail sentence.