'DWTS': Protesters Shout 'Liar,' Interrupt Ryan Lochte’s Debut

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba yelled, “Excuse me! Back off!”

ByABC News
September 12, 2016, 11:13 PM

— -- Police have arrested two men for allegedly trespassing during a live broadcast of the season 23 premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” tonight while a judge was critiquing the performance of U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte. The incident caused a noticeable disruption of the event, and the show went to a commercial break while security responded to the incident.

The suspects, both from Los Angeles, were booked for trespassing, a misdemeanor, according to the LAPD.

The two suspects, who were wearing anti-Lochte shirts, were taken into custody after being tackled by security as they walked onto the ballroom floor after Lochte's performance. Four or five women who were yelling anti-Lochte chants around the same time were escorted from the audience.

The commotion took place during Carrie Ann Inaba’s critique of Lochte’s foxtrot with his pro partner, Cheryl Burke. It wasn’t seen on camera, but as Inaba spoke, shouts of “Liar!” could be heard. On camera, Inaba was seen saying, “Excuse me! Excuse me! Back off!”

The show went to a break, and upon its return, co-host Tom Bergeron explained that there had been “an incident,” and he thanked the show’s security team for acting swiftly.

Lochte and Burke were unharmed, but he said he was “hurt” by the incident.

“So many feelings are going through my head right now,” Lochte told Bergeron during the broadcast. “I want to do something that I’m not completely comfortable with.”

Bergeron replied, “We are nothing if not a country of second acts and second chances.”

Inaba agreed, saying, “You came out here, and gave it your best ... We are only here to judge your ballroom dancing, OK? I want you to know that.”

The turn of events left Burke dismayed on her partner’s behalf.

“I’m shocked and hurt for Ryan,” she said. “He’s an amazing guy. He’s great, he’s kind, and he’s just here working his butt off and trying to do what he’s supposed to be doing, which is dancing. So I hope people give him a chance.”

The incident struck fear into the hearts of others at the event. After the show, Julianne Hough, a judge, said she didn't know whether the incident was part of a larger attack and described it as frightening.

Alfonso Ribeiro, a former mirror ball champion, was sitting in the front row. He said he was scared, adding that he didn't know whether the incident was part of a larger attack or focused on Lochte alone.

Inaba addressed the incident on social media tonight, thanking security and staff.

Lochte and three of his fellow swimming teammates have been heavily criticized after he claimed they were robbed at gunpoint after leaving a party in Rio during the Summer Olympic Games.

Brazilian authorities say the claim of a gunpoint robbery was fabricated. Instead, authorities said, one or more of the swimmers vandalized a bathroom at a gas station and were asked to pay for the damage.

The four athletes have been sanctioned by USA Swimming.

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