UPDATE: Lochte has issued a statement.
So, Ryan Lochte was out with some other U.S. Swimmers and later reported a robbery. The New York Times has a full breakdown of the timeline of events, and the current status of everything.
Basically, the men had their cab stop at a gas station to use the restroom. Lochte initially said they were pulled over by someone pretending to be a police officer, but later publicly said they had stopped at the gas station. He says they were stopped by a man or men with badges, and ordered to the ground and to hand over their money. The gas station says they they damaged some of the facilities, and that a security guard confronted them. Video from the gas station shows them on the ground- that actually supports part of Lochte’s statement. Some people are now saying that the security guards may have tried to get them to pay, or extorted them, while others say the men offered money to the gas station. The whole thing is weird.
The common law definition of Robbery is taking the property of another by force or the threat of force. If the guard, who had a gun, ordered Lochte and the swimmers around and demanded money, it could constitute common law robbery. I do not know the definition of robbery in Brazil, but it potentially could fit, or could fit some other extortion charge. That’s not to say Lochte and/or the other swimmers are blameless, they could be facing charges for destruction of property, even if it bore out that they weren’t charged for false report.
Swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, who were pulled off a plane, gave a statement to police that did not indicate a robbery, and were permitted to travel back to the United States. Jimmy Feigen made an arrangement to make a payment to a Brazillian organization in a deal to avoid prosecution- which sounds like a deferred prosecution deal that one might see here. Lochte may end up doing something like that, as the charge is not ultimately that serious of an offense, and is more of a case of him acting drunk and stupid than criminally. It probably would not have been an issue if he had heeded the advice of USOC, and not said anything, instead of giving a graphic interview to the media the next morning.
The lie is usually worse than the crime.
Ryan Lochte and James Feigen have reportedly been indicted by Rio police. Reports indicate that have been charged with false report of a crime (in Florida, that’s only a misdemeanor offense). Feigen is reportedly still in Brazil, but Lochte has already returned to the United States. Developing…
Reports are coming out of Rio that the swimmers in the alleged robbery may have been in a fight with a gas station attendant. They will hold a news conference at 2 pm.
UPDATE: The Gas station owner claims they were peeing on the gas station, after being asked to use the restroom.
UPDATE 2: Apparently his teammates may have dimed him out and told authorities there was no robbery. He could be in trouble both for false report, and for the incident at the gas station.
The Daily Mail obtained the security video of Ryan Lochte and the other US Swimmers were were allegedly robbed the other night in Rio: the same video the judge used to say they appeared nonchalant when he ordered them seized and their passports taken. What stood out for me watching the video is that, consistent with just being robbed, they men did not have wallets. While Lochte’s story has changed some in the details, he repeatedly stated that their wallets were stolen, but not their credentials. You can see credentials and cell phones, but not wallets of the four Olympians as they pass through security.
Lochte told his father when he landed he was going to have to purchase another wallet for the one that was stolen. The Daily Mail thinks they could be wallets, but they are not, or it was a wallet that wasn’t stolen. Lochte definitely doesn’t have a wallet. Also, one of the swimmers still had some money for the cab they got home- having a wallet wouldn’t mean they weren’t robbed. Free the swimmers!
Former Lee County Deputy Michael Ronga was sentenced this week to six years in Federal prison (he also worked for Fort Myers PD, at an earlier time). He was convicted at trial a few weeks ago for beating an robbing man he had given a ride while he was on duty in his patrol vehicle. Prosecutors pushed for 10 years, which was in line with sentencing guidelines, though the court opted to go below the guideline sentence and he was only given the six years. His attorneys argued for home confinement. The sentence was surprisingly forgiving, in light of the breach of trust to the community for it to happen by an on-duty officer.
Posted in Bonita Springs / Southwest Florida, Criminal Law, Federal, Florida, Fort Myers / Lee County / Southwest Florida #SWFL, Police
Tagged badcops, federal, fmpd, lcso, michael ronga, robbery, theft
Surveillance of Darth Vader’s most recent robbery attempt
Darth Vader committed another robbery, this time in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Vader can be seen on surveillance videos at an 8 ’til Late convenience store, where he walked in, pulled out a gun, and demanded money.
Jacob Mercer mug shot
This is where it gets amazing: apparently the force was not strong with this Vader. One of the clerks in the store threw a wine glass at him, striking him in the face. Vader ran out, only to be captured a short time later. Judging by the suspect’s mug shot, the clerk seems to have struck him square in the face. Why didn’t he use the force?
This is the second time Vader has struck this year, that I’m aware of. As I pointed out last time, still not as classy as the Point Break guys. But, programming note… they are releasing a new Point Break remake next month, a week after Star Wars – The Force is Highly Anticipated. Doesn’t look as classy as the first one, though…
Point Break (2015)
Michael Ronga, who was charged with robbing his victim while on duty when he was a Lee County deputy has been found guilty this afternoon in Federal court. Per the SAO, who joined the US Attorney’s office on the prosecution, he was convicted on both counts, and remanded into custody, sentencing will be set at a later date.