Gunnar Bentz, one of the US Olympic swimmers embroiled in an international incident over an alleged robbery in Rio, has issued a statement detailing what happened.
Bentz offered a step-by-step recollection of the incident on Friday, after several days of conflicting reports about the incident involving Ryan Lochte and fellow US swimmers, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigan.
According to Bentz’s statement, the group stopped at a gas station to use the restroom last Sunday.
“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.”
“I then suggested to everyone that we needed to leave the area and we returned to the taxi.”
The group apparently got into a taxi, according to Bentz’s statement, and that’s when things got tense.
“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 footpath.”
Lochte initially said 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 entire narrative.
Lochte apologised on Friday “for not being more careful and candid” about what happened. His apology offered few details, saying only that it was “traumatic” and blamed “a language barrier” for what transpired.
Scott Davis contributed reporting for this story.
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