Ryan Lochte Thanks Supporters After US Swimmers Robbed by Armed Men in Rio

The robbers posed as police officers.

ByABC News
August 14, 2016, 2:21 PM

— -- Ryan Lochte posted his appreciation for an outpouring of support after he and other Team USA swimmers were robbed Sunday morning in Rio.

"I want to thank all of my family, friends, and fans for the overwhelming support and concern I have received today," Lochte said in an Instagram post Sunday evening.

"...what is most important is that we are safe and unharmed. I am honored to have represented the U.S. here at the Rio Olympics and to win Gold for my country alongside my teammates," he added.

Four members of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team were robbed by armed men early Sunday morning in a taxi headed for the Olympic Village, according to the United States Olympic Committee.

Swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte left France House early Sunday morning in a taxi headed for the athletes' village, the Olympic Committee said.

Their taxi was stopped by individuals posing as armed police officers who demanded money and other personal belongings.

"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 told NBC News.

"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," he said.

"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."

All four athletes are safe and cooperating with authorities, the Olympic Committee noted.

Fears of violent crime hung over the games before they began, ABC News reported earlier this month as Rio has emerged as a hotbed for organized crime.

The Overseas Security Advisory Council, an arm of the U.S. State Department, warns that drug gangs play a large role in violence in Rio.

"Organized crime in Rio de Janeiro is controlled by major drug gangs," the council reports. "Low-level criminal activity continues to plague visitors and businesses alike. Drug dealing, petty theft and vehicle break-ins are common."

Get real-time updates as this story unfolds. To start, just tap the bell in ABC News' phone app. Download ABC News for iPhone here or ABC News for Android here.

Related Topics