Georgia swimmer Gunnar Bentz was among four U.S. swimmers robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning, a United States Olympic Committee spokesperson confirmed.
The Bulldogs standout has been in Rio as a participant in the 2016 Olympic Games. The school and athlete tweeted out that all is well despite the scary incident.
Gunnar Bentz was one of the U.S. swimmers robbed in Rio, but Coach Jack Bauerle says he's "safe" and "doing OK."
— Georgia Swim & Dive (@UGASwimDive) August 14, 2016
We are all safe. Thank you for your love and support.
— Gunnar Bentz (@TheGunnyBunny) August 14, 2016
According to a U.S. Olympic committee statement, Bentz and U.S. teammates Ryan Lochte, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen had “left France House early Sunday morning in a taxi headed for the Olympic Village. Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded the athletes’ money and other personal belongings. All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities.”
Lochte recalled the event in an interview with NBC News.
“We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte said. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.
“And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, “Get down,” and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.”
USA Today’s Rachel Axon confirmed the event transpired through Lochte’s mother, who said she received the news in a text message from her son.
Ileana Lochte reports that her son was not injured, though his wallet was taken.
“I think they’re all shaken up. There were a few of them,” Ileana Lochte said, according to USA Today. “No, they were just, they just took their wallets and basically that was it.”
The IOC is denying this report, with a spokesman referring to reports of the incident are “absolutely not true.”
Lochte won a gold medal for his part in the 4-x-200 freestyle relay for the United States. The 32-year-old has 12 Olympic medals, making him the second-most decorated United States swimmer in history behind Michael Phelps’ 28 medals.