US swim­mers robbed at gun­point in Rio, Brazil

SP's MAI - - INTERNAL SECURITY BREACHES -

Ryan Lochte an d three other Amer­i­can swim­mers were robbed at gun­point by thieves pos­ing as po­lice of­fi­cers who stopped their taxi and took their money and be­long­ings, the US Olympic Com­mit­tee (USOC) said. In the lat­est se­cu­rity in­ci­dent to hit the Rio Games, Lochte said that one of the rob­bers put a gun to his fore­head be­fore tak­ing his wal­let. No one was in­jured.

Lochte and his team­mates were re­turn­ing to the ath­letes vil­lage by taxi af­ter a night out at the French Olympic team’s hos­pi­tal­ity house in the Ro­drigo de Fre­itas area in the up­scale south zone of the city. The out­ing was sev­eral hours af­ter Olympic swim­ming ended Satur­day night at the Rio Games. “Their taxi was stopped by in­di­vid­u­als pos­ing as armed po­lice of­fi­cers who de­manded the ath­letes’ money and other per­sonal be­long­ings,” USOC spokesman Pa­trick San­dusky said in a state­ment. “All four ath­letes are safe and co­op­er­at­ing with au­thor­i­ties.” San­dusky said the rob­bers took cash and credit cards only, and that no Olympic medals were lost.

Ear­lier, a bus car­ry­ing jour­nal­ists at the Rio Games was hit by gun­fire on a high­way be­tween Olympic venues, ac­cord­ing to re­ports. No one was se­ri­ously in­jured in the in­ci­dent. The bus was mak­ing its way from the Games bas­ket­ball venue to the main Olympic park when, ac­cord­ing to pas­sen­gers, two shots were heard hit­ting the ve­hi­cle. Win­dows shat­tered and fly­ing glass left two peo­ple with mi­nor lac­er­a­tions.

“We were shot at. I mean we could hear the re­port of the gun,” said Sher­ryl ‘Lee’ Michael­son, a re­tired US Air Force Cap­tain who is work­ing for a bas­ket­ball pub­li­ca­tion in Rio.

Vi­o­lent street crime in Rio has left its mark on South Amer­ica’s first Olympic Games. On Satur­day, a bul­let hit the eques­trian cen­tre, miss­ing jour­nal­ists there by just a few feet. That bul­let was sus­pected to have been fired by a gang mem­ber try­ing to shoot down a po­lice blimp or drone, of­fi­cials said.

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