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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Penelope Gordon
5 years ago

There is NO WAY ANYONE CAN DEFEND LOCHTE. The reason being. IF HE HADN’T TOLD MOM, THERE WOULD BE NO PROBLEM! Lochte made a FALSE REPORT. He told MOM a LIE! All the rest of this is HORSE POOEY! Lochte squealed to mom, left his buddies to catch the heat, threw his buddies under the bus, and TRIED TO MAKE EVERYONE BELIEVE HE WAS SOMEHOW HELD UP. Come on the CHARGE IS MAKING A FALSE REPORT. He called his mommy, and LIED TO HER, AND SHE THREW A FIT!!!! CASE CLOSED!

BarryA
5 years ago

“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.” (emphasis added)
This is perhaps what is called complicity?

bodybyfood
5 years ago

We were robbed – Lochte
It wasn’t a ransom – Obama
Depends on your perspective I guess….

Bob
5 years ago

So they were robbed. Shhh Atilla.

Billabong
5 years ago

Which USA Swimming official advised him to board the plane against the specific instructions of a judicial order? Being hauled off of the plane by the police was a low point for him and his teammates. We have t heard anything on this point.

Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

For Lochte’s defense team that still think it was a robbery, answer this
Has there been any robbers in the history of everything that called the cops and told their victims to stay put until the cops arrived?
How about robbers who involved the assistance of interpreter?
What honorable robbers accepted $50 instead of 6K worths of shoes, valuable watches, iPhones, more money, cards etc in wallets?

H2O Bruin
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

@attila the hunt, pretty funny dude! it cracks me up the rationalization that goes on to defend douche Lochte from the likes of Joel Lin. Funny, people like him are still trashing Brazil and can’t acknowledge that Lochte brought upon himself, and still can’t accept his hero, Lochte acted like a fool overseas.

CROOKED HILLARY
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

$6k of shoes isn’t possible

CROOKED HILLARY
Reply to  CROOKED HILLARY
5 years ago

Hulk was exaggerating when he said that.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  CROOKED HILLARY
5 years ago

Crooked Hilary, it is obvious you have never had any clear information.

It’s not exaggerating.
Those were apparently special yeezy whatever shoes and apparently very very expensive

Ryan Lochte snapchat the shoes and captioned it “6k deep”

comment image?w=1170

Just Another Opinion
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

6k in Ryan Lochte dollars is probably less than 2k in reality. Unless you believe he stared down an armed robber with a disdainful “whatever” in Captain America’s voice.

Also, how pathetic is it that two of the bros are wearing the exact same pair of shoes? Are they THAT incapable of original, individual thought?

Sven
Reply to  CROOKED HILLARY
5 years ago

I wish it wasn’t possible, but sadly, there are people in this world who would pay $1,500 for a pair of shoes. Meanwhile, I’m just over here praying for an asteroid apocalypse…

Bob
Reply to  Sven
5 years ago

Love this picture.

Wasted
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

Your logic is twisted. Robbery is not limited to crimes where someone takes everything of value from you at gunpoint, but instead where someone takes anything of value from you at gunpoint.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  Wasted
5 years ago

They didn’t use the guns to demand money.

The guards had to show the guns to make them stay until the police arrive (which they did, later)

Don’t you get it?

But the kids obviously didn’t want the police to get involved so they paid up.

In what universe robbers called cops?

H2O Bruin
5 years ago

Good for Gunnar. Looks like Gunnar was the victim of Lochte’s douche behavior. His only crime was that he was with bad company with poor judgment.

HulkSwim
Reply to  H2O Bruin
5 years ago

meh- he was still acting boorishly by peeing on the building and he violated team rules by being out/under 21.

HulkSwim
Reply to  H2O Bruin
5 years ago

for the record, good on him for coming clean with what looks like an sincere apology and honest recap of the events… but he’s no angel.

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  H2O Bruin
5 years ago

If only he had not violated team rules, he wouldn’t have been in this situation.

Just Another Opinion
Reply to  Attila the Hunt
5 years ago

Downvotes on this comment reveal a serious inability to reason logically.

Observing the team rules would absolutely have protected him from this experience. Imagine leaving Rio on a high note, celebrating a positive reputation and an Olympic gold medal. Instead he’s trying to control the damage to his reputation and impact to his swimming career. Not the accomplishment I would have wanted after all the work it took to get to Rio.

All he needed to do was find something fun to do in the Olympic Village instead of getting wasted with his bros and trashing a gas station… I can’t imagine that’s too hard to do.

pvdh
5 years ago

Ryan really screwed Jack and Gunnar….

About Mitch Bowmile

Mitch Bowmile

Mitch worked for 5-years with SwimSwam news as a web producer focusing on both Canadian and international content. He coached for Toronto Swim Club for four seasons as a senior coach focusing on the development of young swimmers. Mitch is an NCCP level 2 certified coach in Canada and an ASCA Level …

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