Gunnar Bentz Makes Statement Recalling What Happened In Rio Incident

After returning to the United States following a gas-stop bathroom altercation with fellow American Olympic teammates Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, and Jack Conger, in Rio that led to police involvement, Gunnar Bentz made a statement.

The biggest revelations from this statement appear to involve Lochte, who is said to have pulled a metal advertisement off a wall and yelled at the security guards during the incident.

Bentz wrote the following published on the University of Georgia athletics site:

“I want to offer a sincere apology to the United States Olympic Committee, USA Swimming, the extraordinary women and men of Team USA, and the University of Georgia. Being a member of the Olympic Swimming Team was an honor and a dream come true. The accomplishments of my teammates were awe-inspiring and I’m so pleased I got to see them up close. I regret this situation has drawn attention away from the Olympics, which have been hosted so incredibly well by Brazil and its citizens.
“While I am anxious to put this matter behind me and rejoin my Georgia teammates in classes, practices and competitions, I feel compelled to stress several key points.
1. I was never a suspect in the case from the beginning (Brazilian law enforcement officials saw me only as a witness).
2. I never made a false statement to anyone at any time.
“I also want to be forthright about the details of what transpired last Sunday. What follows is consistent with the account I gave to the Brazilian authorities when I was interviewed for the first and only time on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro:
“After attending an event with several swimmers from different nations, I left in a taxicab along with U.S. swimmers Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte around 6 a.m. On the way back to the Olympic Village, we pulled into a convenience store to use the restroom. There was no restroom inside, so we foolishly relieved ourselves on the backside of the building behind some bushes. There was a locked door out back and I did not witness anyone breaking it open. 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.
“Two men, whom I believe to have been security guards, then instructed us to exit the vehicle. No guns were drawn during this exchange, but we did see a gun tucked into one of the guard’s waistband. 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 them 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 sidewalk.
“Again, I cannot speak to his actions, but Ryan stood up and began to yell at the guards. After Jack and I both tugged at him in an attempt to get him to sit back down, Ryan and the security guards had a heated verbal exchange, but no physical contact was made.
“A man that I believe to be a customer approached us and offered to help as he spoke both English and Portuguese. Understandably, we were frightened and confused during this time. Through the interpreter, one of the guards said that we needed to pay them in order to leave. I gave them what I had in my wallet, which was a $20 bill, and Jimmy gave them 100 Reals, which is about $50 in total. They lowered the guns and I used hand gestures to ask if it was okay to leave and they said yes. We walked about a block down the street and hailed another taxi to return to the Village.
“Videos of this situation have been emerging the last several days. However, I am confident that some video angles have not been shown that would further substantiate my account. I also believe some scenes have been skipped over. Additionally, I would like to stress that our original taxi was not pulled over; the only occupants of the taxi were the four of us and the driver; and to my knowledge, there was no damage done to the door or the inside of the restroom.
“I am so thankful for the love and support of my family, my friends and my teammates during this time. Without question, I am taking away a valuable life lesson from this situation. In everything I do, I am representing my family, my country and my school. I will not take that responsibility lightly.”
The majority of what Bentz said in his statement is concurrent with what has been revealed about the incident with the exception of Lochte removing a metal sign from the brick wall. It was also not revealed prior to Bentz’s statement that Lochte had gotten into a verbal altercation with the guards.
Lochte flew back to the United States prior to Brazilian authorities requesting that his passport be removed. Both Bentz and Conger were then pulled off their flights home by Brazilian authorities as witnesses, and gave statements to the police.
Bentz and Conger flew home early Friday morning after cooperating with local authorities. Feigen was the only one with any severe consequences after a judge ordered him to make a payment of over $10,000 USD to a charity in Brazil. Feigen flew home later that same Friday. All four swimmers are now back home in the United States.

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141 Comments on "Gunnar Bentz Makes Statement Recalling What Happened In Rio Incident"

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There was no restroom but to his knowledge there was no damage done to the restroom… Lolol

Fastswimmer

Really? It says restroom INSIDE key emphasis on inside

Lennart van Haaften

Well, if there is no restroom there can’t be damage done to its door or inside, so far so good.

By all accounts, Lochte did kick the aluminum shingles door open until it came off the joints.

Cheatinvlad

I believe that account is the most honest and accurate that we’ve heard so far.

-A damaged sign
-Urinated on the side of the building
-Lochte acting tough
-No physical altercation
-Two guns pulled on them
-Boys shook down for some quick cash to obtain their freedom.

So the big crime was Lochte saying they were pulled over and the gun was placed on his forehead.

Perfectly put. This statement from Benz makes one point the world is trying very hard to ignore. So where’s the two plus minutes of video that have been edited out by Brazilian authorities?

What we see so far is the DISCLOSURE of Brazilian authorities on their discretion. And their discretion had one purpose: to cast the worst possible light on the Americans. That’s not the same thing as DISCOVERY.

I read earlier that the IOC and USOC both intend to independently investigate. Hopefully the full video doesn’t “get lost”.

We’re all glad you’re home safe Gunnar. I believe you and believe in you. I know you are telling the truth.

Gunners version is well supported by the video. What we don’t see clearly in the video so far is Lochte escalating things, so yes- I am 100% with you, we need to see the video!!!

Let’s all keep in mind they were ‘shook down’ or ‘robbed’ of $50 after vandelizing the place. They all left with wallet’s, shoes, and phones, and cash. And could’ve left without any press if not for Lochte and his mother’s big mouth.

Cheatinvlad

Shook down in the sense that money was for the goon guards, not the owner as far as we know.

most accounts have the money being paid to the gas station employee, not the guards.

Seriously, we are starting to blame is mom? He lied to her, she believed him. How is any of that not his fault?

CROOKED HILLARY

Also, you like to spout that they weren’t “shook down”. What do you call two security guards holding you at gun point for some $$?

payment for damages?

hey man, i am not a fan of guns- period… but i wouldn’t go to rio and not expect to have one pulled on me if i was peeing on the walls, and acting stupid and pulling things off walls… just like i wouldn’t expect to be well received for eating a double cheeseburger in India, or frying some bacon in the morning in Saudi Arabia. I also wouldn’t march through the streets of Moscow chanting USA. i wish it was so simple that we can tell these guys that ‘guns are bad, mkay?’ but it’s a complicated world and we aren’t gonna fix it here.

so ‘when in rome’, ya know?

Attila the Hunt

Let’s get back to what happened:

Lochte claimed they were ROBBED.

Brute Bradford

Brazilian law, and the law of all civilized countries, calls that robbery.

If Lochte articulated this whole mess properly, we will be never in this situation. Or maybe he should have keep his mouth shut to his mom and directly talk to the US officials with his teammates.

if he had done a post-game recap with the guys th enext morning before going on air all his ‘confusion’ and ‘mis-remembering’ would be cleared up.

The problem is just that. Lochte’s enhanced version of this is an embarrassment. The comments his parents made were also in poor discretion. These guys were shaken down at gunpoint.

All of Brazil seems to be reveling in the victory of getting this incident quashed down to a point where the world won’t call it a gunpoint mugging or robbery. I sure hope the USOC is steaming pissed and embarrassed enough to properly investigate this. If they do, they’ll be apologizing to Benz, Conger and Feigen.

They could have waited for the cops to arrive. They chose to get ‘shaken down’ for a whopping $50. If Lochte doesn’t lie to mommy and then the world, they come home feeling like they made a wise decision to pay the $50.

I’m glad you now agree with the assessment lf Lochte, though.

Thats only $12.50 per person for the cheapest shakedown since the 1970s and it sounds like the rich guy lochte didnt pay any.

CROOKED HILLARY

Clever, but $50 goes a little further in Brazil that it does here. Tell me, when was the last time you heard of vandals in the US settling up with the rent a cop? I know, you ‘ll say it’s a different culture/country and to my point. $50 to a US citizen isn’t $50 to a Brazilian. $50 is closer to about $400 to them and that may have been all they had on them at the time. I thought Bentz said he had a $20 on him and Fiegen ponied up the rest.

oh please… they had 6k worth of footwear on, big watches, and iPhones. they parted ways with $50. which is 160 Reals. and by all accounts it was paid to the gas station employee, not the security guys.

Cheatinvlad

$6k of footwear? Where do you buy shoes from 🙂

Attila the Hunt

Cheatinvlad,

You didn’t know that Ryan Lochte snapchat the 6k deep shoes on that night?

All of you Lochte’s defense team clearly lack so many important actual information:

comment image

Cheatinvlad

I know the shoes retail for $200 and there’s a shortage of them so sometimes people pay more. I don’t believe this crew coughed up $6k for them. I think that’s more of a self promotion/exaggeration.

Attila, if it pleases you, I do think these guys should be cited if they were stupid enough to spend $1500 each for those shoes.

CROOKED HILLARY

You really think he paid 6K for those Yeezy’s that retail for $200 or do you think he embellished there too? You don’t believe a word he says until he talks about those sorry shoes he was wearing.

http://footwearnews.com/2016/focus/athletic-outdoor/ryan-lochte-team-usa-swimmers-show-off-yeezy-boost-350-shoes-before-gunpoint-robbery-rio-olympics-248839/

Okay let’s see how well u pay attention. What was the price of gas at the shell station in Barra? It’s 2.29 a gallons by my house

Attila the Hunt

Crooked Hillary,
Your condescending views towards Brazilians is disgusting at best.
No wonder we have the likes of Lochtes.

Cheatinvlad

What views? Or is this just another ATTILA I don’t like white Americans rant?

Wait for the Brazilian cops to arrive so they can be shaken down twice?

if they waited, i don’t think they’d be shaken down by the security guards… so at best they’d be ‘shaken down’ by the cops only. so good logic.

but we will never know what would have happened. they chose to pay for their damages.

Attila the Hunt

You need to talk with some black guys in aome particular area in the USA who have had to deal with the police to know what “shaken down by cops” mean.

CROOKED HILLARY

Give us some examples since you are well versed on the topic. Surely you can backup that assertion. We’ve been preached about white privilege during this situation which implies wealth and being above the law. “Particular area” as you say implies what I’m assuming to be a poor area? So a cop is going to “shake down” someone who isn’t wealthy?

Again, would love to hear some examples.

CROOKED HILLARY

Still waiting. I guess you can do nothing but complain and nothing these guys do will ever make up for that terrible event of ruining the sandwich sign and lying to the honorable policemen of Brazil.

Scott Morgan

Joel: “Wait for the Brazilian cops to arrive so they can be shaken down twice?” Speculation on top of conjecture; conspiracy theory on top of conspiracy theory…

“Shake down”, you say.Ridiculous. It must take a lot of faith to hold such opinions in face of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and not one kernel of truth that supports this vulgar misrepresentation.

This was really only a story of 4 clowns celebrating and acting like idiots. Until Lochte, a senior mentor of the team, decided to make it news: he embellished details, denied and deflected culpability, and most bizarrely decided to make it a story with him as both the courageous badass and the actual victim.

Attila the Hunt

Scott, a good summary of what happened!

Not sure they felt they had much of a choice with guns drawn on them.

Attila the Hunt

Jeff,
They WANTED to leave without paying for any damages. the Interpreter said so in interviews with the media.
How were the guards going to contain four tall, big atletic americans?

Don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology or any comment from USOC. They’re hoping this goes away, then pass the buck to US Swimming to determine what suspensions to give the four US boys. Those will come out sometime late Fall when NFL season in full swing and no cares about swimming

Dude, you’re the one on this forum trashing at Brazil at every opportunity as if the Brazilians had noting better to do than cause problem for Lochte. He acted like a douche in a foreign country. How old are you?

There’s the rub. Articulation is not strong with this one..

Joel- If there is something relevant in those three minutes then it should be in Gunnar’s statement, which seems to be very straightforward and transparent. If Gunnar said “and then the guards kicked us for three minutes while making us sing the theme song from ‘Cheers'” and there was a three minute gap in the video, I’d have questions.

Since I don’t see discrepancies like that, I’m assuming that the released footage just omitted it because nothing relevant happened. Maybe those three minutes would have totally changed the reception, but it seems like Gunnar’s account more or less matches what we have heard. Beyond that, it’s more than enough for us to know that Lochte lied, which is the real issue.

I’m not going to defend Lochte’s theatrics beyond the basic fact this was a robbery. The missing footage is relevant. Gunnar’s statement clearly states this. If it supports Benz’s statement that two guards held the guys at gunpoint until Gunnar and Jimmy handed over cash, that would be important. It would further support that Brazilian authorities are selling a fantastic lie of their own, and what they have been reporting at a high volume for two days is false.

My concern is the global lynch mob has cast the die that Feigen, Conger and Benz embarrassed their country and the US Olympic Team. They deserve nothing less than the world knowing the truth that isn’t so.

I did not see anyone blaming bentz conger. All blame was focused on Lochte. And if what you are doing is not defending locthe I don’t know what defending locthe would be.

I’m totally fine with conceding that the video would show the guns drawn- I’ve got no issue with that. I don’t think it’s robbery either. They could have not paid and waited for the cops to arrive. They did what most of us would do- pay the pocket-change $50 for the damage we’d done, and get out before the cops come and make this thing public.

The only reason we are discussing this is because Ryan had to be Ryan.

Brazilian Lawyer
By definition, robbery consists of an assault coupled with larceny. There is judicial process that could have and should have been followed if the crime of vandalism was substantiated and charged. Even police or security guards can commit robbery. If vandalism occurred, the proper procedure is to issue summons with notice to appear in court or to arrest on a misdemeanor charge. The escalation of force ladder used in police procedure positively prohibits the drawing or use of firearms unless necessary to protect life or prevent grave bodily harm or to effectuate a lawful arrest. The security guards did not have legal authority to draw firearms, nor did they have the authority to bypass legitimate judicial process. Regardless of whether… Read more »
Attila the Hunt

How is it a robbery when all facts and evidence state it was not?

Why are you still depending Lochte for lying?

Uh, Feigen, Conger, and Bentz did embarrass their country and the US Olympic Team (and most of all the US Olympic swim team – we’re not talking about Ledecky, Manuel, DiRado, Murphy, Ervin, and all those that should be taking up headlines and stories on Swim Swam). Out after curfew getting drunk, pissing in the bushes, committing whatever vandalism did or did not occur depending on conflicting sources, not being honest and forthcoming with the real story until they were yanked off a plane and out of wherever Feigen was hiding, etc. Not stand up behavior expected of an Olympic athlete representing the country and their team. They don’t need to be crucified, but they sure do need to apologize… Read more »
He says the missing footage would further support his story. His story is that they pissed on the side of a building, Ryan Lochte pulled a sign off the wall, the security guards detained them by pulling guns, Lochte argued, they ended up paying money to leave. No one is arguing these points. Outside of his statement, we learn that an interpreter was involved and that the payment was made so that they could leave before police arrived. Given that his story is essentially that they were acting like douchebags (Lochte more than most, it seems), and he says that the missing video would substantiate his account, I’m confused about why you seem to think the missing three minutes would… Read more »
Just Another Opinion

So you don’t think what they did was embarrassing. Plenty of other people did.

By the way, being made to pay for what you damaged and then being allowed to go with all of your other valuables (worth far, far more than the money you paid for damages) doesn’t constitute robbery.

But hey, keep saying “it was a robbery” and you’ll either convince people that it really was after all, or that Joel Lin is just a bro fanboy with no perspective or objectivity. Guess which outcome is more likely?

It is messed up that 90 percent of the commenters think “locate lied” is a bigger issue than security guards pulling guns on people over $50

Attila the Hunt

Way to embellish the truth.

The guards didn’t ask for $50. They told them to stay because they damaged property while cops having been called.

But the swimmers wanted to leave before cops arrive. So they negotiated to pay $50.

If you care to read the witness account by the interpreter, you’d have known.

Guards used the gun to control four big tall athletic americans (if you watch the video footage tu’d have known how much taller the americans are) and prevent them from fleeing.

He was the most sincere and honest out of them all, and for that I respect him.

Attila the Hunt

Except he left out one tiny detail:
Being under 21, he was not allowed to leave the Olympics village after 1 am.

Not sure I can view him of being honest anymore.

CROOKED HILLARY

So in your humble opinion, what could he have said to gain your trust, respect, and approval?

Attila the Hunt

Taking things out of context, again.

CROOKED HILLARY

Just put forth the perfect statement on their behalf like you were their spokesman.

Attila the Hunt

I’m glad I’m not a spokesman for these entitled spoilt white kids.

White!!!!

I’d have replied earlier but I’ve been clutching my pearls! Dishonest curfew-breaking out-late-stayer! SHAME!

Attila the Hunt

I bet Bentz would have chosen to stay in his room a million times over had he known the whole thing would happen

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About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile is a former Canadian age group swimmer who was forced to end his career early due to a labrum tear in his hip and a torn rotator cuff after being recognized as one of the top 50 breaststrokers his age in Canada. He competed successfully at both age …

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