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2 Lochte teammates in robbery probe pulled off plane

11 Comments
By MAURICIO SAVARESE and BETH HARRIS

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11 Comments
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Not sure which makes Brazil look worse, athletes being robbed, or the judicial system going after the victims like they were the criminals.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Good grief! I surely wouldn't want to go to Brazil and get robbed, beaten or have anything violent happen to me while there. They tend to make the victims look like the bad guys.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Yeah - I can't help but think that regardless of whether the group embellished the account or not it appears that Brazil is trying VERY hard to make it appear that it NEVER happened - - - Rio has had such poor publicity over the Olympics that I can not help but think that it's reputation will be left much worse off than before the Olympics...

The story about the Olympic village rooms being robbed while everyone evacuated the building due to a fire alarm being tripped was particularly enlightening about the level of professionalism, organisation and audacity that the thieves in Rio have...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There's no smoke without a fire...Let's wait since it is under investigation by local authorities.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

How about using all these police resources to actually solve the wildly out of control daily kidnappings, assaults, robberies and killings on the streets of Brazil? You wouldnt get me there if I was paid. Probably for the first time in history, the Olympics media coverage will end up losing tourists to the host city!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Has the US consulate taken any action?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

While I certainly have no insight on the specific event regarding the American swimmers, I DO have first-hand insight on the motivation by the Rio police, based on my experience in that city.

In 2006, my wife and I were on holiday in Brasil, four days of which were spent in Rio. We were walking on the sidewalk on Copacabana Beach. I recall that we were very close to a fancy hotel that celebrities frequent when it happened. We were not wearing any jewelry and had no valuables among us, for we are streetwise New Yorkers and we were aware that Rio can be dangerous.

It was dusk and there were folks having drinks sitting at tables on the sidewalk. My wife cried out suddenly, and that saved my life. As I turned, I saw him lunge at me with a knife. I caught his arm as he was mid stroke to plunge the knife into my chest. At that moment, another person grabbed me from behind to try to immobilize me. I yelled for help and fought these two guys to a stalemate, the whole time with my eyes fixated on the knife. My wife fought the guy behind me and tried to pull him off of me. Soon folks sitting at the cafe tables started getting up and approaching us to help. The two guys stopped their assault and melted away toward the Favelas, brandishing the knife as they retreated.

Luckily, I was unharmed.

We spent more than three hours at the Rio Police station combing through books of suspected perpetrators. We were unable to identify the assailants. We filed a police report, so this is all on the record.

The police had us talk with a kind and gentle-mannered person who introduced himself as a police interface with tourists. As for motive, based on our report and the location of the assault, he said that killing a white guy is not uncommon for gang initiation (I am white and my wife is Asian). He begged us to not tell anyone of our assault, for he said that Rio relies on tourism for its economy and without tourists, the police will have insufficient resources to protect and keep the peace.

In good conscience, I have not kept silent about my experience to any friend considering traveling to Rio.

I have traveled to Brasil extensively multiple times and I must say that the other cities and countryside areas have been wonderful experiences for me. My only horrible experience was in Rio.

As for the robbery of the American swimmers, it is probable that this high profile robbery could affect tourism in that city, providing local police with fewer resources to combat the violence there. And if the American swimmers can somehow be discredited, then the Rio police can argue that their city is safe and inviting for tourists.

Please, I urge you...avoid Rio for your own sake. It's not just the violence, but also the pervasive petty graft at restaurants, beaches, etc. There are other areas in Brasil that are fabulous and worth experiencing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So that's how Brazil's Olympics debt is going to be paid off. Rob athletes as they leave. Kidnapping and ransom demand in 3.. 2.. 1..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

US are exceptional, The government lie about WMD swimmer lie about robbery or thrashing their accommodation (Nagoya)Bravo country of Hypocrite US.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's too early to say that the Rio Police are acting poorly, if there are inconsistencies in the Americans' stories, then they are 100% within their rights to pursue the truth. If it turns out the robbery occurred and the Police let them get away due to their dithering, then the police should be criticized. Conversely, if it turns out these swimmers were lying, they should also be punished to the fullest extent of the law and possibly banned for a while

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's starting to look like the swimmers did, in fact, make up the story about getting robbed. JT needs to update this story.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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