OT - Ryan Lochte robbery case gets murkier

Submitted by jmblue on August 17th, 2016 at 1:14 PM

The Brazilian police has forbidden Lochte and the others from leaving Brazil while the evidence is being gathered, but he's apparently already returned to the United States.  

The Rio police are casting doubt over Lochte's version of events, saying it doesn't square with testimony from others - although given their reputation for corruption, who really knows?

Apparently Lochte has met with the FBI to discuss the situation.  





03 Blue 07

August 17th, 2016 at 2:17 PM ^

Where have you read that Lochte filed a false report? I ask because that's a key piece of your point, but to my knowledge, it is incorrect. My understanding from not only the OP but other articles today on the issue is that Lochte's statements were made...on Twitter and to the media (and to U.S. authorities). And that those statements somehow "conflicted" with the public/Twitter/statements to the media of one of the other people with him.

In fact, it seems that a judge is trying to block Lochte, et al., from leaving the country due to, basically, bad press. Thank God he got out of there, as it seems pretty clear that this was/is about to turn into a corrupt shit show, possibly leading to imprisonment for besmirching Rio's "good name." I don't think that Lochte (or anyone, for that matter) wants to find themselves at the whim of the Brazilian criminal justice system, especially when that system can use Lochte for its own p.r. purposes by trying to make him out to be a liar and a criminal. 


August 17th, 2016 at 2:47 PM ^

I can see how you would be skeptical about burger's on the ground claim, but Lochte put himself out there for the world to see for a season of reality TV. If you take that plus his interviews, outrageous partying reputation, etc, I think it's pretty valid to question if his side of the story can be trusted. For all his physical gifts, he seems to be a bit short in the mental dept. 

I Like Burgers

August 17th, 2016 at 3:46 PM ^

You take the passport if you're about to arrest them, which it appears they were.  There are clear lies in the statements they made.

Lochte got out in time.  Not sure if the other three were as lucky.

EDIT: Just learned that the punishment for this is basically just community service.  This is mostly about Brazilian officials being pissed about being thrown under the bus for a dumb lie from Lochte.

They are basically trying to sneak the remaining three out of the country now and hope that Brazil's ability to flag a passport isn't quite up to speed.

Once they are all out, the story kind of ends since Lochte will stick to his story and there's really no way to prove they weren't robbed.


August 17th, 2016 at 7:53 PM ^

There are "clear lies" in every police statement ever made, anywhere.  Any cop or criminal lawyer will tell you that the least reliable witnesses are eyewitnesses.

I have no idea whether someone deliberately lied in this case or not.  There doesn't seem to be a motive for Lochte and the others to have fabricated this story.  It seems likelier that it was some kind of miscommunication.

I Like Burgers

August 17th, 2016 at 2:52 PM ^

Not sure what the laws are down here on making statements vs. filing an official report.

Like you said, it seems no one knows if he filed an official police report.  It appears that didn't happen.  But, he did make a statement of the events to Rio police, the FBI, the state department, and USOC officials.  As did the three other swimmers.

The reason the judge wanted to block them from leaving is that the statements they gave and the evidence she was able to find doesn't match up.  Like Lochte said it was one person that robbed them, and the other swimmer said it was multiple people.  Also, they told police they returned to athlete's village at 4am when security cam footage of them returning shows them walking in during daylight at 7am.  And neither Lochte or one of the other swimmers could apparently provide any details about the color of the taxi, the neighborhood where they were robbed, or what time it happened.  So she wanted to detain them to take them in for additional questioning and see if their stories matched up or if there were more holes in them.

If they did find holes in their stories, and they are lying (which the secruity camera footage shows they clearly are), then that's a problem for Lochte and co.


August 17th, 2016 at 3:27 PM ^

My wife and I went to Greece for our honeymoon. The cruise line took our passports the night before we disembarked for Turkey. They gave us photocopies, so that was nice. Apparently the cruise company had some sort of dispute with the harbor so we had to get on a smaller ship to do the shore excursion. Not sure if they were worried we'd be held in Turkey or what. I probably would have been more nervous if I hadn't been so young and in love!


August 17th, 2016 at 1:17 PM ^

I think yes, Lochte is indeed already back in the States.

To me, this is exactly what an embarrassed, petulant, aggressive, and corrupt police system would do if those had been real cops who robbed Lochte. Which I think they were.

I Like Burgers

August 17th, 2016 at 1:32 PM ^

The word on the ground here in Rio is that there is substance to Lochte lying and the police actually being right. The type of crime Lochte says happened almost never happens in the area they were reportedly in.

The whole IOC lying thing happened because Lochte did lie to the USOC and said nothing happened. The USOC relayed this to the IOC as they were walking on stage for the press conference. So the IOC and the USOC are pissed at Lochte. Plus when they went to confirm things with Lochte after the presser they couldn't reach him because he was passed out from being drunk or high the night before.

Also, Lochte is literally the dumbest person I've ever met. So I'm inclined to believe everyone not named Ryan Lochte here.

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03 Blue 07

August 17th, 2016 at 2:21 PM ^

I don't. Because he's in Rio? "Word on the ground" from who? American law enforcement? Because Lochte did meet with the F.B.I.; if they say that Lochte is full of it, then maybe I'd believe it. Also, think about it: Everyone in Rio kinda wants this story to not be true, don't they? I mean, even the spectators, right? No one wants to think "ahh crap, no one is safe here," I'm sure. And Lord knows the Brazilian government not only doesn't want it to be true, they have a vested interest in making Lochte out to be a liar. 

I Like Burgers

August 17th, 2016 at 3:19 PM ^

Fine, how about this: word from reporters I've talked to that cover swimming and talk to people that know.  And most of this is still in the rumor phase because until you can find a couple of people and some proof that they actually did something like go to a brothel after the French house, then it just stays rumor.

And I'll also say this: people in Rio could give two shits if this story is true or not.  Almost no one cares if some dumb American swimmer was robbed when hundreds of other people are robbed (or worse) every day.  They have much, much bigger problems here.  This is a "the paint on the front door is looking a little chipped when the house is on fire" type of problem.

No one is under an illusion that they are safe.  I've had three coworkers get pickpocketed.  One dude had his watch stolen right off his hand and didn't notice until later.  Petty crime and robbings are very, very common here.  Literally no one is trying to pretend things like this don't happen.

The only reason they care now is that Lochte and the other swimmers lied.  Which tends to piss some people off and light some fires.

I Like Burgers

August 17th, 2016 at 2:09 PM ^

Here for work.

Rio is fine.  Its honestly no different than going to any other major city.  Employ a lot of common sense and you'll be fine.  Like if you're going to NYC, maybe don't walk through Central Park alone at night.  Lots of people take Uber to get around, and our security people have said that is actually their preferred way for us to get around since Uber has a GPS tracking feature.

Personally, I haven't taken an Uber because I don't even like it in the states, and the idea of getting into a car with someone that doesn't speak my language and having to go wherever they decide to take me gives me some pause.

The Zika thing was way overblown.  There are mosquitos but way less than you'd see up at a lake house or something in Michigan.  Like in the 2.5 weeks I've been here, I've seen maybe 10.  Its winter down here, so while its still warm, its dry and not really condusive to mosquitos breeding.  I've been bitten by a few, but I'm fine.  Zika symptoms only show up in 25% of people affected with it, and if you're not planning on having kids anytime soon, then there's really nothing to worry about either way.

Other than that, the people are nice at the restaurants we've gone to, they generally always have an english menu which is nice, and the only complaints I really have is that their rivers smell like shit (mostly because they are literally filled with shit) and I'm sick and tired of taking buses. 

UM Indy

August 17th, 2016 at 1:21 PM ^


Dude cocked the gun and put it to his head and his response was "Whatever?" Hmmm. Something doesn't add up. On the other hand, what's the motive for making up the story?

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I Like Burgers

August 17th, 2016 at 1:35 PM ^

The motive is that they were doing something shadier and dumber. They may have been robbed but it likely wasn't by armed gunmen pulling over a taxi.

Like say....you were drunk and high at a brothel and someone stole your wallet. You might be inclined to make up the taxi robbery story since that sounds plausible and makes you a victim instead of you being a moron.

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Autocracy Now

August 17th, 2016 at 1:45 PM ^

That is what I initially suspected when I heard about it. But then the more I learned about the guy, the more the Lochte begging for attention storyline seemed most compelling to me. Now, however, I've swung back to the suspecting this shadier version is what happened, because I don't understand why three other athletes would go along with this story just because Lochte wanted a little attention.  

I Like Burgers

August 17th, 2016 at 2:18 PM ^

The strange part in all of this is his mom.  She was the one that basically broke the story, and that fact isn't really up for debate.  He did call her at some point in the middle of the night, and he did tell her he was robbed.

The only thing I could think of to explain that is that his wallet was actually stolen, and he needed to cancel his credit card(s).  Since its a pain in the ass to call from Brazil to the US, he may have just called his mom to tell her he was robbed and she needed to call and cancel his credit cards.  And if it were me, I'd sure as hell make up a white lie to my mom about why I got robbed if I was in fact doing something shady or embarassing that led to me getting robbed.


August 17th, 2016 at 6:13 PM ^

To me, the fact that his mom broke the story is one of the facts that cuts most strongly against him. Assuming he was separated from his wallet for reasons he would prefer not to divulge, he would have had little incentive to lie publicly and every incentive to simply keep quiet about the whole incident. For various reasons, though (such as cancelling his credit cards as you suggest), he might have had strong incentive to lie to his family about the circumstances. And once the story was then made public, he might have felt compelled to double-down on the lie. I don't mean to suggest this necessarily is what happened, but this is how little lies sometimes become big ones.

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August 17th, 2016 at 1:56 PM ^

I'm not so sure about that. It's not like Brazil has a reputation for being an exceedingly safe place aside from tourist areas as it is. Another robbery isn't going to change anyone's perception of the country. Lochte on the other hand could have plenty of reasons for lying depending on where exactly he was, what exactly he was doing, and with whom.

03 Blue 07

August 17th, 2016 at 2:24 PM ^

See, I disagree there; I think Brazil has a very vested interest in having it not appear that a famous foreign athlete was robbed with a gun to his head. I  doubt that the Brazilian government is like "eh, whatever; it's dangerous here." It's about the P.R. Your point, though, regarding the perception of the world (i.e., what people sitting in the U.S., Europe, etc, think of Rio), does make sense though; I just doubt the Rio/Brazilian government is looking at it that way.


August 17th, 2016 at 3:11 PM ^

My point isn't that Brazilian officials would have zero incentive to lie or that they would just shrug their shoulders at news of a foreign athlete being robbed. That of course is not the nature of government officials and bureaucrats. That being said, there have already been a number of incidents of that nature at the games, and for the most part, the government hasn't denied their existence. Plus, from a corrupt government perspective (not accusing Brazil's government of such), it would be just as easy if not easier to just pin the incident on a few random people. For Lochte and company, the only option if you want to hide something is to lie. So it's not that I think Brazilian officials have no reason to lie, I just think from a risk-reward perspective they have less incentive to do so.