There have been questions about Ryan Lochte’s report of being robbed at gunpoint in Rio ever since the news broke on Sunday. People reported yesterday that the Rio police had been unable to find any evidence of the crime, and it turns out that may be because there was no crime. TMZ is reporting that their sources have indicated that yes, armed men did approach Ryan and the other Olympic swimmers while they were at a gas station. They arrived at the gas station in a taxi. But that’s where the truth in Lochte’s story ends according to TMZ’s source. There was one man, whether he was armed or not is not clear. He was a security guard at the gas station where Ryan and the others stopped. The guard approached them because of damage they caused at the gas station, something that none of them probably wanted to get back to the Olympic Committee.
People reported that Ryan Lochte described the incident like this to NBC News.
“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. 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.”
In an interview with Matt Lauer, Ryan changed some details of his story. Today reports that he told Lauer that the gun was pointed in his general direction instead of at his forehead. And instead of saying they were pulled over, Lochte said they were in a taxi at a gas station to use the restroom when they were robbed.
TMZ‘s source reports a story in which Ryan Lochte’s account to Lauer was closer to the truth but still not the full story. The four swimmers who were involved in the incident were Ryan Lochte, James Feigen, Jack Conger, and Gunnar Bentz. Someone people close to Feigen spoke to the website and gave an account of what they say happened. Here’s what they said.
Ryan Lochte and the other three swimmers were heading home from a party very early on Sunday morning. They were all very drunk. Ryan and the others got a taxi to take them back home. They needed to use a bathroom and stopped at a gas station for that purpose.
At least one of the guys, it’s unknown if Lochte was one of them, did his business outside the bathroom door. One the swimmers also kicked in the bathroom door. At this point, the gas station’s armed security guard approached, pointed a gun at them, and insisted that they pay for the damage they had done. The account says, “he did take money from the swimmers.” It doesn’t indicate if it was by force or not. The guard didn’t take all of the money that Ryan Lochte and the other swimmers had on them, just enough to cover the expense of repairing the damage they had done. Then he let them go.
This account varies from what Rio police say the gas station manager told them happened with Ryan and his friends. The manager said that the security guard didn’t pull a gun and that he (the manager) asked them to pay, and they did.
If it turns out that Ryan Lochte lied to Rio police, he could face charges.
[Photo by Michael Sohn/Associated Press]