Los Angeles Police arrested two men after they rushed the stage following the dance performance of U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte and his partner Monday night on Dancing With the Stars.
Security guards needed to tackle the suspects, who were wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts, before both were hauled off and booked for trespassing, according to the LAPD.
ESPN reported that one of the two accused perpetrators, identified as Sam Sododeh, 48, and Barzeen Soroudi, 40, said while being dragged out of the studio, “We want to publicize that this is a bad decision to have a liar be publicized as a star.”
The embattled 12-time Olympic medalist came under fire in August during the Olympic games when he and three other U.S Olympic swim team members were accused of vandalizing and urinating on the premises of a gas station after a night of drinking and partying in Rio de Janeiro.
The events of the infamous night remain unclear. But some witness statements and surveillance videos support Lochte’s initial statement that the swimmers were robbed at the gas station by armed men who flashed badges and pointed guns at them before shaking the swimmers down for their wallets.
Although perhaps unjustly, Lochte and his teammates have become to many symbols of “The Ugly American,” a term coined in the bestselling book by the same name that chronicled American transgressions and spoiled behavior while traveling abroad.
Lochte commented after the show, “We thought it was a joke, something part of the show, but when we realized it wasn’t, that hurt, that broke my heart, that people are still on that subject and no one’s moving forward.”
His dance partner, Cheryl Burke , added, “I’ was just shocked. I didn’t know if they like had anything, had a gun, I don’t know what would have happened . . . My heart’s racing. I thought I was really nervous for our dance, but this is just a whole other thing right now. This is insane.”