A cab driver might have conspired with the armed robbers in the gunpoint holdup of Team USA swimmers, according to Rio’s former police chief.
“Where is the taxi driver?” Ubiratan Angelo told NBC News. “[He] disappeared. Nobody knows.”
Ryan Lochte, along with his teammates Jack Conger, Gunnar Bentz, and Jimmy Feigen were en route back to their rooms in the Olympic Village in the early morning hours on Aug. 14, when they were stopped by police impersonators. Lochte recounted the events in an interview with NBC News.
“These guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing, just a police badge and pulled us over,” he told NBC. “They pulled out their guns. They told the other swimmers to get down on the ground. They got down on the ground.”
A defiant Lochte initially refused the armed men’s orders but quickly conceded when he realized his life was in danger.
“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 cell phone, he left my credentials.”
The athletes were not harmed in the incident.
Lochte reassured fans that all were safe in a released a statement via his Twitter account.
“While it is true that my teammates and I were the victims of a robbery early Sunday morning, what is most important is that we are safe and unharmed,” Lochte said in a statement posted on Twitter. “I am honored to have represented the U.S. here at the Rio Olympics and to win gold for my country alongside my teammates.”
— Ryan Lochte (@RyanLochte) August 14, 2016
Sunday’s violent event hasn’t deterred Lochte from competing internationally as he stated he looks forward to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
In response to the robbery of the Team USA swimmers, Rio Games spokesman Mario Andrada issued an apology to the athletes.
“We obviously regret that the violence has (gotten) so close to athletes,” Andrada said. “We have requested security authorities that they need to make sure everybody’s safe everywhere in the city. We apologize to those involved. Once again, we regret that violence is still an issue at these games.”