American Swimmers Stuck in Brazil amid Investigation into Robbery Report Involving Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen

American Swimmers Stuck in Brazil amid Investigation into Robbery Report Involving Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen

One of the four American Olympic swimmers who were reportedly robbed during the Rio games was seen on “CCTV footage breaking down the door to the bathroom at a gas station and fighting a security guard,” a Brazilian police source told ABC News on Thursday.


The swimmer was not immediately identified.

The fracas caused damage at the gas station which was paid for in cash, Reuters reported, citing a Brazilian security source.

“Let’s give these kids a break…they had fun, they made a mistake, life goes on,” a Rio Olympics spokesman told Reuters.

The news comes as two of those swimmers were yanked off a homebound flight Wednesday. Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz are not allowed to leave Brazil until they provide testimony to investigators about the alleged robbery that reportedly targeted them and fellow swimmers Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen, their attorney said Thursday.

Feigen, who was not on the flight with Conger and Bentz, was ordered to stay in Brazil. He told USA Today that he’s cooperating with authorities. Lochte made it back to the U.S. before authorities could seize his passport.

Conger, Bentz and Feigen were expected to give statements to police on Thursday. A Brazilian official said the questioning would take place in Leblon, south of Rio.

The latest developments come amid increasing tension between Brazilian authorities and the American swimmers over the ever-changing story of the alleged robbery. Police said they have found little evidence so far to support their claims, and that the swimmers were unable to provide key details in interviews.

Lochte said he was with Conger, Bentz and Feigen when they were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi by men with a police badge as they returned to the athletes’ village from a party, several hours after the final Olympic swimming events were held. Lochte claimed he had a gun pointed at his head.

NBC reported Wednesday night that Lochte backed off some of his earlier claims about the robbery. He now says the taxi wasn’t pulled over by men with a badge, but that they were robbed after stopping at a gas station, NBC reported. Lochte also said the assailant pointed a gun at him rather than putting it to his head.

But Lochte also said no one in law enforcement asked him to stay in the country for additional questioning and reportedly expressed surprise at the casual nature of authorities’ questioning.

Asked by Matt Lauer if he had made the robbery story up, Lochte denied the charge.

“He stopped me quickly and strongly denied that,” Lauer said. “He said, ‘That’s absolutely not the case. I wouldn’t make up a story like this, nor would the others. As a matter of fact, we all feel it makes us look bad. We’re victims in this and we’re happy that we’re safe.'”

Patrick Sandusky, U.S. Olympic Committee spokesperson, said Conger and Bentz were detained and “released by local authorities with the understanding that they would continue their discussions about the incident on Thursday. James Feigen is also communicating with local authorities and intends to make further statements regarding the incident on Thursday as well.”

Representatives from the U.S. consulate arrived at the airport shortly after the swimmers were stopped from leaving.

A Brazilian judge earlier ordered the seizure of Lochte and Feigen’s passports. The office of Judge Keyla Blanc said in a statement that there were discrepancies in their statements.

The U.S. Olympic Committee said police went to the athletes village to try to collect the passports, but the swim team had already moved out.

Lochte’s father told The Associated Press by phone from his Florida home that his son called him Tuesday after arriving in the United States. The 32-year-old swimmer was going to pick up his car and buy a new wallet to replace the one that he said was stolen in the robbery.

“I’m just happy he’s safe,” Steve Lochte said. “It was an unfortunate experience for him and the other three. I don’t know what all the controversy is. They were basically taken out of the taxi and robbed. The main thing is he’s very lucky that he’s safe and that all they got was his cash and wallet.”

The group did not call police, authorities said, and officers began investigating once they saw media reports in which Lochte’s mother spoke about the robbery.

A police official with knowledge of the investigation told the AP that police cannot find their taxi driver or witnesses from the robbery. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Police interviewed Lochte and one other swimmer, who said they had been intoxicated and could not remember what type and color of taxi they rode in or where the robbery happened, the police official said. The swimmers also could not say what time the events occurred.

Lochte’s attorney, Jeff Ostrow, has said there is no question the robbery occurred.

“Why would anybody fabricate anything?” Steve Lochte said. “It’s just ridiculous.”

Lochte described the alleged robbery to NBC’s “Today” show Sunday.

“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 said. “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.”

Lochte told USA Today that he and his teammates didn’t initially tell the U.S. Olympic officials about the robbery “because we were afraid we’d get in trouble.”

Steve Bentz, father of Gunnar Bentz, told the AP Wednesday night, “I really don’t want to say anything.”

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