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Report: Ryan Lochte Robbery Story More Accurate Than Rio Police Would Have Us Believe (Video)
Some new details have emerged about the Ryan Lochte robbery scandal that suggest his original story was not nearly as absurd as Rio police have led us to believe.
Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger originally reported that men posing as police officers pulled over their taxi and robbed them at gun point early Sunday morning. However, yesterday it was reported that Bentz and Conger told police the entire story was fabricated. As a result, police were recommending that Lochte and Feigen be indicted for falsely reporting a crime.
What really happened, according to police, was that the swimmers stopped at a gas station to go to the bathroom but wound up peeing outside the building, damaging some property, and getting into an altercation with security guards. The guards did brandish guns, but there was no “robbery.” The owner of the gas station just wanted to apprehend the people who vandalized his bathroom.
Sure enough, security footage from the gas station seemed to confirm this version of events:
As a result of all this information, U.S. Swimming issued a statement on Thursday condemning the inappropriate behavior of the athletes and apologizing to their hosts in Rio.
However, Lochte insisted to NBC’s Matt Lauer that they did not make up the story to cover up bad behavior. Now TMZ has uncovered a few important details that make the whole robbery story a lot less absurd.
TMZ’s photographer in Rio went to the gas station in question. While police said a mirror was broken in one of the bathrooms, the only “damage” the photographer found was a cracked sandwhich sign. And someone who works there said that was the only damage.
According to TMZ’s “Ryan Lochte sources,” when confronted by the security guards—who were actually off-duty prison guards wearing what looked like police uniforms—the swimmers offered $50 for the damages. But the owner of the gas station wanted more, and they ended up paying $400.
In the security video above, you can see the swimmers had their hands up at one point. If they really did pay $400 for a cracked piece of plexiglass, well, that sure sounds like extortion. When you factor in the language barrier, the security guards who looked like cops, the guns, and the fact that the swimmers were all wasted, you can see how Lochte and company may have felt like they were robbed.
Lochte claims the security video was edited and did not show the security guards pull them out of their cab at gunpoint. He also claims that the other swimmers did not admit to “fabricating” the robbery story. For his part, Jimmy Feigen told a local news station in San Antonio that they were indeed “robbed.”
Obviously, Lochte and company left out the part about acting like entitled jerks at the gas station. But their story was a lot truer than Brazilian authorities would have us believe.
Hat Tip – [TMZ]