It comes as very little surprise to anyone who’s been following the clusterfuck that is the Rio Olympics that many competitors have gotten robbed while venturing away from the athletes village and out into the city of Rio. U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte is the most recent victim to make headlines, and while I don’t doubt his story or his claim that he responded with “Whatever” after police imposters put a gun to his head and demanded he get on the ground, it appears that officers in Rio (the ones who feel like doing their jobs, anyway) aren’t buying his story.
According to statements from Lochte, he and several other swimmers were returning to the athletes village in a cab when they were pulled over. “These guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing, just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte described to NBC’s “Today” show, “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.”
Security footage from the athletes village collected by police reportedly shows the swimmers returning at 6:56 a.m. on Sunday. However, Mirror reports that CCTV shows them passing through security with both the wallets and watches that the group claim were stolen. This report may be incorrect, however, as Daily Mail specifies that Lochte was shown as having his Olympic accreditation, which is kept in a laminated plastic wallet. Referring back to his statement – “he left my cellphone, he left my credentials” – it is possible (and I’d even go so far as to say “likely”) that some reports have been confused, not accounting for the difference between the identification wallet and his actual wallet.
Regardless of semantics, a police official with knowledge of the investigation reportedly told the Associated Press that police have so far been unable to find both the taxi driver who drove the Olympians that night, as well as any witnesses to the crime, causing people to doubt Lochte’s account – but Lochte’s attorney, Jeff Ostrow, remains convinced that his client’s account is accurate:
“Ryan was a hundred percent cooperative and fully available when they reached out to us for an interview,” Ostrow said. He added: “It doesn’t behoove Ryan and anyone else to make up a story.”
For the record, I believe Lochte and think the police down in Rio have more on their plates than they can handle, meaning that since no one got hurt in the robbery, well…it’s not that important of a case to solve. People are getting shot and murdered down there, you think they give a shit that Ryan Lochte will have to go stand in line at the DMV when he gets back to the states?
Besides…you think the guy who gave this interview is intellectually capable of making up a story to tell to police?
The Rio courts have demanded that Lochte and the other swimmers involved in the described robbery turn in their passports due to conflicting stories about the night in question:
This is fairly pointless, however, seeing as how Lochte is already back in the United States, and our government is not going to extradite an Olympic gold medalist to a fucked up country where literally everything is swimming in poop.
[H/T Daily Mail, Mirror & NY Post]