Officials said that Lochte, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz, and Jimmy Feigen were at a gas station the same night that they claimed to have been robbed. Rather, one or more of the four vandalized a gas station bathroom.
“There was no robbery the way it was reported or claimed by the athletes,” Rio Civil Police Chief Fernando Veloso said, speaking in Portuguese, during a press conference in Rio on Thursday. He added that several swimmers admitted to lying.
Although a judge has not made a decision yet concerning charges, he said the swimmers might be charged for false testimony and vandalism.
“In theory, one or all of them might be charged for false communication of a crime and for damaging private assets, the gas station,” Veloso said, CNN translates. “I’m not saying that they are charged right now because of that. We have to finalize the investigation and in theory that could be the case. This kind of crime will not lead to their arrest.”
Conger and Bentz checked in for a flight out of Brazil later on Thursday after testifying in the robbery probe, according to the Associated Press. Feigen has not been interviewed yet. The FBI is working with Rio police and may seek a judge’s order to have them question Lochte, who Veloso said was intoxicated during the vandalism. Veloso said the swimmers can go home if they cooperate with the investigation.
According to officials, one of the swimmers tried and failed to open an outside bathroom door. The swimmers then pushed on and broke the door, prompting a guard to confront them. The store manager asked the swimmers to pay for the broken door, which they did, and then left. Veloso said one of the security guards pointed a firearm at the American swimmers in order to control one of them, bur didn’t use excessive force.
This police report is different from the story Lochte told after conflicting reports surfaced on Sunday morning. Conger and Bentz also allegedly confirmed to police that Lochte’s story was a lie.
“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge — a police badge — no lights, no nothing,” Lochte recalled. “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.”
Lochte’s mother, IIeana Lochte, first broke the news to USA Today, prompting news coverage and police attention. Mark Adams, the International Olympic Committee spokesman called the report “absolutely not true.”
On Wednesday, a judge ordered Lochte to stay in Brazil and issued a search and seizure warrant for the swimmer, but he had already left the country before the police could seize his passport. Feigen’s passport was also requested. Conger and Bentz were both removed from their plane on Wednesday night.
Watch video of the gas station incident, which surfaced on Thursday, below.
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