Police: Lochte, Swimmers Made Up Story About Armed Robbery
Police in Rio de Janeiro now say Ryan Lochte and three American swimmers were in an altercation at a gas station and Lochte later fabricated a story about being robbed at gunpoint.
Police released surveillance video (above) from a gas station which shows the swimmers in a dispute with a security guard, allegedly over a bathroom door that one of them broke.
The Associated Press, citing a Brazilian police officer, reported that the swimmers were at a gas station in a Rio suburb around 6am Sunday.
He said that around 6 a.m. on Sunday, Lochte, along with fellow swimmers Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen, stopped at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca, a suburb of Rio where many Olympic venues are located.
One of the swimmers tried to open the door of an outside bathroom. It was locked.
A few of the swimmers then pushed on the door and broke it. A security guard appeared and confronted them, the official said.
The official says the guard was armed with a pistol, but he never took it out or pointed it at the swimmers.
According to the official, the gas station manager then arrived. Using a customer to translate, the manager asked the swimmers to pay for the broken door. After a discussion, they did pay him an unknown amount.
Lochte's lawyer, agent and father did not immediately return messages seeking comment from the AP.
In the gas station surveillance video, the intoxicated swimmers are seen exiting a bathroom and returning to their taxi. A gas station employee then runs over to the side of the car to talk to them.
The swimmers then exit the taxi and are seen sitting on the ground, possibly waiting for police to arrive. Some of them then appear to get up and are forced to sit back down by the security guard.
Two other American swimmers involved in the incident were pulled off a plane Wednesday before if left from Rio for Houston. Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger were removed from the flight by federal police and detained for four hours for questioning.
The police official told AP that the two swimmers admitted to the armed robbery claim being false. U.S. consulate officials arrived at the airport after the swimmers were stopped from leaving.
A judge ordered the passports of all four Americans to be seized earlier this week, but Lochte had already returned to the U.S.
Swimmer Jimmy Feigen, who remains in Rio, also gave a statement to police, who have said his account of the armed robbery differed from Lochte's statement.
Lochte claimed the men were robbed by a gunman who impersonated a police officer.
Rio de Janeiro's chief of civil police, Fernando da Silva Veloso, said at an afternoon press briefing that the three swimmers still in the country were cooperating with authorities, and might be able to return home soon.
The video shows the group smiling and laughing as they return from their night out after supposedly just being robbed at gunpoint.
According to the report, the men are seen on the footage with items which they later told police had been stolen.
Lochte's lawyer said Wednesday that his client left the country after fully cooperating with police and stood by his story.
Filing a false police report carries a potential jail sentence of up to three years in Brazil.
Meantime, an Olympic spokesperson sought to downplay the incident, calling them "kids."
#Rio2016 spokesman Mario Andrada on Lochte incident: "Let's give these kids a break. They had fun. They made a mistake. Life goes on."
— Shira Springer (@ShiraSpringer) August 18, 2016
Authorities in Rio, however, are not taking the allegedly-false report lightly, since the city has been dogged by persistent reports about a lack of security around the Olympic venues and inadequate preparations for the Games.
Stay tuned to Fox News throughout the day for updates, as information continues to emerge on this story.