There are new details emerging from one of the US swimmers held in Brazil for lying about a petty crime, which was apparently pettier than we were told. The Rio police chief swore to statements that were not accurate.
Today correspondent Keir Simmons went to the gas station where Lochte, Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz and Jimmy Feigen allegedly trashed the restroom and said the bathroom was in good condition. It isn’t likely the repairs were made so quickly and it supports a statement made by Gummar Bentz about the extent of the damages — an ad sign, loosely hung, was torn down –that’s it!
It’s hard to know what the truth is but from a statement released by Gunnar Bentz, one of the US swimmers held by Brazilian MILITARY POLICE for a petty crime and lying about it, the police chief appears to have given out misinformation. The chief swore he had all the facts and that one of the swimmers confirmed these facts. He also swore the guards didn’t overreact and the men were out of control. Anyone who has looked at the footage that has been released can see the swimmers were not out of control.
That’s why we can’t believe a police chief who comes out in public and tries US athletes in the court of public opinion from one perspective only, especially after the insane judicial overreach by the Brazilian judge who ordered two of the athletes taken from a plan based on conjecture and then mandated all passports be confiscated. As if that wasn’t enough, the Brazilians then called in the Federal military police and the FBI for this petty crime. which apparently didn’t involve vandalizing a bathroom.
The Brazilians were upset at being embarrassed but they also embarrassed themselves. There are no winners here.
This story which should have been on the back pages of major newspapers has received six times the coverage of the story about a lying administration ransoming four Americans and giving $400 billion in cash to terrorists.
Gunnar Bentz is one of the US Olympic swimmers who was detained and he has issued a statement with a step-by-step account of what happened. He apologized and said he had never lied about the incident.
Bentz said that he and Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen stopped at a gas station to use the restroom last Sunday on their way back to the Olympic Village in Rio.
“There was no restroom inside, so we foolishly relieved ourselves on the backside of the building behind some bushes,” Bentz’s statement read. “I am unsure why, but while we were in that area, Ryan pulled to the ground a framed metal advertisement that was loosely anchored to the brick wall.”
That was the initial crime for which they were held at gunpoint and had money extorted from them. Keir Simmons noted that except for an ad sign on the ground, there was no damage to the bathroom.
The Emboldened sentences are the authors.
“I then suggested to everyone that we needed to leave the area and we returned to the taxi,” read the Bentz statement.
The group apparently got into a taxi, but then the guards told them to get out of the vehicle.
“Two men, whom I believe to have been security guards, then instructed us to exit the vehicle. No guns were drawn during this exchange … As Jimmy and Jack were walking away from the vehicle, the first security guard held up a badge to me and drew his handgun. I yelled to [Jimmy and Jack] to come back toward us and they complied. Then the second guard drew his weapon and both guards pointed their guns at us and yelled at us to sit on a nearby sidewalk.”
“Again, I cannot speak to his actions, but Ryan stood up and began to yell at the guards. After Jack and I both tugged at him in an attempt to get him to sit back down, Ryan and the security guards had a heated verbal exchange, but no physical contact was made.
[I’m starting to like this guy.]
Bentz says that the guards refused to let them leave, demanding payment for the damaged sign.
“I gave them what I had in my wallet, which was a $20 bill, and Jimmy gave them 100 Reals,” Bentz recalled, “which is about $50 in total.”
“A man that I believe to be a customer approached us and offered to help as he spoke both English and Portuguese. Understandably, we were frightened and confused during this time. Through the interpreter, one of the guards said that we needed to pay them in order to leave. I gave them what I had in my wallet, which was a $20 bill, and Jimmy gave them 100 Reals, which is about $50 in total. They lowered the guns and I used hand gestures to ask if it was okay to leave and they said yes. We walked about a block down the street and hailed another taxi to return to the Village.
“Videos of this situation have been emerging the last several days. However, I am confident that some video angles have not been shown that would further substantiate my account. I also believe some scenes have been skipped over. Additionally, I would like to stress that our original taxi was not pulled over; the only occupants of the taxi were the four of us and the driver; and to my knowledge, there was no damage done to the door or the inside of the restroom.
Three minutes of tape was missing for the time they were held at gunpoint. They were not out of control as the police chief or the security guards described.
Lochte initially said that he, Feigen, Bentz, and Conger were robbed at gunpoint, and that men dressed as police officers took their money — at one point cocking a gun at Lochte’s forehead. Bentz’s statement appears to contradict that narrative.
Lochte had apologized in a statement on Friday though many have picked it apart as inadequate.
If this scenario is accurate, it’s easier to see what happened here. Lochte wanted to tell the story of having guns drawn [a complete overreaction] and he had to fabricate that part about theft but it’s not much of a lie since they did basically extort money from them.
Ryan shouldn’t have lied, but the Brazilian authorities are jerks who abuse their authority.
The Brazilians made an international incident out of it. From now on, any Brazilian arrested in this country should have to pay $11,000 before they can leave.
The IOC has set up a disciplinary commission to investigate the four men.
In an interview Saturday with Matt Lauer of NBC news, Ryan Lochte said he over-exaggerated the story and took full responsibility. He said it was all on him.
SOURCE If this doesn’t work, put this in the address bar and hit return: http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/c-swim/spec-rel/081916aac.html