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article imageBrazilian police say U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte made-up theft story

By Marcus Hondro     Aug 18, 2016 in Crime
A Brazilian police official says that Ryan Lochte and 3 teammates from the U.S. swim team made up their story of being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro. The swimmers said the robbery took place early Sunday morning.
Gas station incident
The 4 Olympians were returning from a night out at about 6 a.m. and claimed male thieves wearing police uniforms pulled over their taxi and robbed them of cash, credit cards and other belongings. Lochte had said that one of the men pointed a gun at his head when he was not quick to comply to their demands.
Their story was reported on the U.S. Olympic website and as of this writing that story still remains on the website and the American swimmers have not publicly made a retraction, though details have been altered by some since Sunday.
Police opened an investigation and a Brazilian police official, who asked not to be named, told media they discovered the swimmers were at a gas station and broke into a washroom that was locked. One or more security guards attended and they carried handguns; initially police said no guns were drawn on the Americans but hours later they said guns were drawn on them.
The manager of the station was called in and the police official said the swimmers agreed they should pay for the damaged door and an undisclosed amount of money was exchanged. Those details are the basics of the incident, police say, and the swimmers were not robbed of belongings, nor threatened.
Swimmers taken off plane
Police took their findings to a judge who ordered the swimmers' passports to be confiscated and for them to be brought in for questioning. Lochte had returned to the States before that could occur but two teammates involved, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, were pulled off a plane that was waiting to take off.
Police say those two men admitted to making up the robbery story, though the motive for their allegedly doing so has not been made public. Conger and Bentz have since been released, though it is unclear if their passports have been returned. The fourth swimmer involved is Jimmy Feigen.
Security footage showing moments of the incident has been broadcast on Globo TV in Brazil. The footage shows three of the Americans being lead from the bathroom. It also shows three sitting on the ground with hands in the air while the fourth swimmer, Lochte, appears to argue with the guard before sitting down.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Rio Olympic games, Mario Andrada, told media the swimmers deserve "a break" and that the incident was not a grave one. "These kids tried to have fun, they tried to represent their country to the best of their abilities," Andrada said.
"They competed under gigantic pressure; let's give these kids a break," he added. "Sometime you take actions that you later regret. They had fun, they made a mistake, life goes on."
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