Brazil police: Swimmers covered up act of vandalism

Police source says swimmer seen on video on night of alleged robbery


RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZILUpdate @ 5:20 p.m.:

U.S. Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and James Feigen have been indicted on charges of false reporting of a crime, ABC News reported. The indictments come after Brazilian police said Thursday that Lochte, Feigen and two other U.S. swimmers were not robbed at gunpoint as they claimed.

Update from AP at 3 p.m.:

Four American Olympic swimmers lied when they said they were robbed at gunpoint during a night out in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian police said Thursday.

Instead, the athletes concocted a story to cover up their act of vandalism at a gas station that led to a confrontation with security guards, said Civil Police chief Fernando Veloso at a press conference.

"The surveillance tapes show that there was no violence against the athletes at the gas station," Veloso said. "Their claim that they are a victim of an assault or robbery or any kind of violence is not true."

He added the the athletes -- Ryan Lochte, James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz -- should "provide apologies to the city of Rio."

Update from CNN @ 11:45 a.m.:

The U.S. Olympic swimmers facing questions about their reports of being robbed in Rio de Janeiro were involved in a fight at a gas station in the city and committed acts of vandalism there, Brazilian newspaper "O Globo" reports.

According to the owner of the Barra da Tijuca gas station, who the newspaper said chose to remain unnamed, the athletes threw stones at the business and tore one of its signs before urinating in the street.

"They stopped next to the gas station, and urinated outside right next to the gas station. We even have images of one of the athlete's butts, as he is pulling up his pants," the owner said.

CNN has reached out to police and lawyers for the swimmers, but has not received a response.

CNN has viewed the footage referred to by the owner, but cannot confirm its authenticity.

But a series of conflicting accounts by the athletes and authorities since then has caused confusion and turned the event into a diplomatic issue involving consular officials, lawyers, judicial orders to confiscate passports and the removal of athletes from a flight.

The twists and turns in the case also threaten to overshadow the Olympic Games as they draw to a close.

Original Story:

One of the U.S. Olympic swimmers fought with a security guard the night he and three other swimmers were allegedly robbed at a gas station in Rio, ABC News reported Thursday.

A Brazilian police source told ABC News that the swimmer was caught on camera fighting with the guard, the report said. The source didn't identify the swimmer.

Swimmer Ryan Lochte said Sunday that the group was robbed at about 4 a.m. in a taxi headed for the Olympic Village in Rio.

Brazilian police are expected to hear from three of the swimmers Thursday regarding the alleged incident. U.S. Olympic officials said Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, who were detained by Brazilian authorities Wednesday night before getting on a homebound flight, were released with the understanding they will cooperate with police. Officials said a third American swimmer, Jimmy Feigen, a Churchill High School graduate, is also expected to speak to police.

Check back for updates on this developing story.


About the Author: