UPDATE: REUTERS IS REPORTING THAT THE U.S. SWIMMERS WILL LIKELY FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES LODGED BY BRAZILIAN POLICE.
The IOC were idiots for granting Brazil the right to hold this year’s Olympic Games.
The story of the robbery of four American swimmers just keeps getting more and more bizarre.
Bottom line: Avoid travel in third world nonwhite countries if you’re white. The odds of coming out with your life and your wallet intact are not very good, if this story offers any lessons.
Brazil police consider charging U.S. swimmers with vandalism, false testimony
Brazilian police are considering charging a group of U.S. Olympic swimmers with vandalism and giving false testimony, Rio’s police chief said on Thursday, accusing them of lying about an incident that has marred South America’s first Games.
Three of the four swimmers involved in the incident at a Rio gas station are being prevented from leaving the country pending the outcome of the police investigation. The fourth, gold medalist Ryan Lochte, returned to the United States on Monday.
“In theory, they could be held responsible – by they, I mean one or two or all four of them – with falsely reporting a crime and vandalism,” civil police chief Fernando Veloso told a news conference. He said neither offense was punishable by prison.
“There was no robbery as the swimmers described it.”
Police began investigating the incident after Lochte told U.S. television they had been robbed by gunmen impersonating police officers who pulled over their taxi in the early hours of Sunday, as they returned to the Athletes’ Village from a party.
Their swimming competition had finished on Saturday evening.
Veloso said investigations had revealed that the swimmers’ taxi had pulled into the station where they behaved in a hot-tempered way and damaged the station’s bathroom.
They broke a mirror and a soap-holder, he said, adding that they then handed over a total of 100 reais ($31) and $20 in U.S. currency as compensation.
According to Lochte’s account, $400 was stolen from them.
At one point, a security guard pulled a firearm after one swimmer behaved erratically, Veloso said, adding that the guard had not over-reacted: “From the moment the gun was pulled out, they calmed down. Once they were calm, the gun was lowered.”
Earlier, Brazilian TV aired a video that showed the swimmers did not tell the whole truth in their original accounts.
The security-camera images broadcast on Globo TV appeared to show the swimmers – who also included another gold medalist, Jimmy Feigen, as well as Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger – in a dispute with staff at the gas station, a fact police say they did not mention in their accounts.
The video does not show them causing any breakage, but only being hustled out of the bathroom by uniformed employees. Security guards then prevented the swimmers from leaving in a taxi and the Americans appear to offer them money from their wallets.
Three of the swimmers are made to sit on the ground with their hands in the air. At one point, Lochte stands and appears to argue with the guards but is made to sit down again.
On Sunday, Lochte had told NBC that the taxi he was traveling in with his three team mates was flagged down by robbers posing as police and they held a gun to his head during a robbery. He made no mention of stopping at a gas station.
NBC host Matt Lauer said late on Wednesday that Lochte repeated a slightly modified version to NBC in an interview not yet aired, saying the swimmers had stopped at a gas station and that a gun was pointed in his direction during the robbery.
Brazilian police doctored a security camera video of the alleged robbery by cutting three minutes of crucial footage.
Reuters is just reporting that Brazilian police are RECOMMENDING CRIMINAL CHARGES against the swimmers.
Brazilian police have recommended that prosecutors bring charges against U.S. Olympic gold medalist swimmers Ryan Lochte and Jimmy Feigen for falsely reporting a crime, GloboNews television reported on Thursday.
The civil police chief of Rio de Janeiro, Fernando Veloso, had earlier told a news conference that Lochte and Feigen had lied about being robbed at gunpoint on Sunday morning along with two team mates.
More later on this developing story as events warrant.