Brazil pulls 2 of Ryan Lochte's teammates off plane amid robbery probe


Brazil detained two U.S. swimmers and told a third that he couldn’t leave the country until it further investigates the swimmers’ claims they were robbed at gunpoint by fake police officers during the Olympic Games in Rio.

All of the swimmers are members of a relay team that included Ryan Lochte, a figure central to growing controversy. Lochte has left Brazil and is back in the United States. But the situation deteriorated for three of his teammates — Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen.

>> Judge orders Ryan Lochte, James Feigen to stay in Brazil as robbery investigation continues

According to The Associated Press, Conger and Bentz were detained at the airport Wednesday night, then released after they agreed to comply with authorities. All three swimmers reportedly will talk to police Thursday.

Lochte — along with the rest of his relay team — said they were robbed at gunpoint in Rio early Sunday.

From 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,” 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.”

According to Daily Mail, authorities are investigating a possible “false communication of a crime,” which carries a maximum three-year jail sentence in Brazil.

While Lochte is already out of the country, Feigen remains in Brazil. He told USA Today Sports that he’s safe, is cooperating with authorities and just wants to get out of Brazil.

>> Read more trending stories

As NBC News pointed out on its Wednesday evening broadcast, this is as much a public relations as it is a potential criminal issue. Rio de Janeiro is very sensitive to its crime issues, and Olympic athletes being robbed by fake cops — and gaining tremendous media attention — would be an embarrassment to the country. 

Reports originally conflicted on whether Lochte was robbed, and later reports show that the Rio police seriously doubt whether the crime happened. According to Rio police, Lochte and his teammates never reported the crime, and the unit only began investigating after a report from Lochte’s mother indicated that he had been robbed.

The Daily Mail also obtained video of Lochte arriving at the athletes’ village Sunday, with at least some of his belongings with him.

A judge in Brazil ordered the swimmers to surrender their passports and cooperate with authorities. So far, Lochte is the only one who is back on U.S. soil.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Third autopsy concludes there was foul play in Georgia gym mat death case
Third autopsy concludes there was foul play in Georgia gym mat death case

Results from a third autopsy conducted in Lowndes County, Georgia, on the body of Kendrick Johnson — the second performed at the behest of Johnson’s parents — have been released, contradicting an earlier conclusion that the 17-year-old’s death was accidental. But the new autopsy’s impact is likely to be minimal, as a lengthy...
Betsy DeVos releases controversial campus sex assault reporting rules
Betsy DeVos releases controversial campus sex assault reporting rules

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is moving to change the rules regarding sexual assault on college and university campuses. >> Read more trending news  At the University of Washington, students may have a heightened awareness of the issue, but they also know it's still difficult for many to report sexual assault or harassment.  &ldquo...
Teacher thanks students standing for Pledge of Allegiance, banned from school
Teacher thanks students standing for Pledge of Allegiance, banned from school

A Missouri substitute teacher has been banned from his former school after thanking students who stood for the Pledge of Allegiance. Jim Furkin says he's been a substitute teacher for the St. Louis County, Missouri, school district for about 10 years. He’s filled in at Parkway South almost daily for the past five years, until now. Furkin says...
Florida man tries to steal vending machine
Florida man tries to steal vending machine

A Florida man tried to steal a vending machine from an apartment building in May. >> Read more trending news  “He was quite brazen and he was all caught on camera,” Kenia Fallat, Miami police spokesman, told WSVN. In the video, he attempts to maneuver the big machine by scooting it inch by inch. After about three minutes...
Police: Ex-boyfriend drove to teenager's house, shot her to death 
Police: Ex-boyfriend drove to teenager's house, shot her to death 

A teenager was shot and killed in Munhall,  Pennsylvania, on Saturday afternoon, and police say her boyfriend has confessed to the crime. Police in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, identified the suspect in custody as Darion Abel, 20. Investigators say Abel and the victim had just ended a yearlong relationship, and Abel became angry about...
More Stories