Jimmy Feigen issues statement on Rio gas station incident, release negotiations
The last of the three swimmers with Ryan Lochte at the scene of a Rio gas station dispute on Aug. 14 that turned into an international incident released a statement late Tuesday night, including details on the negotiations between his lawyers and the Brazilian authorities.
Jimmy Feigen said he was interviewed multiple times by police as he was caught up in the aftermath of Lochte initially telling the news media that they had been robbed at gunpoint Feigen said he was presented with two options by Brazilian prosecutors last week: wait about a month as police conduct its investigation or pay a fine.
Prosecutors initially sought $31,500 for the return of Feigen’s passport that would allow him to leave the country. When Feigen’s lawyers balked at that figure, prosecutors raised the fine to $46,875.
Ryan Lochte has been pilloried for his exaggerated tale of robbery in Rio, but did the Rio police also tell a tall tale of the swimmers’ behavior? USA TODAY Sports
“Finally, all parties agreed to a $10,800.00 fine,” Feigen said. “I was able to contact my family in the United States along with my American attorneys and we were able to satisfy the payment of the fine the next day. My passport was returned to me after payment was received, and I was able to return home.”
Feigen arrived home on Saturday. He was supposed to fly out last Wednesday, like teammates Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz. But the three were either pulled off the flight or unable to make it onto the plane after a judge ordered their passports be seized as part of the investigation into whether they should be charged for filing a false report.
The details of what transpired at the Shell gas station in the early morning hours have evolved over the last several days. Lochte initially said that the swimmers had been pulled over and men with badges held the four at gunpoint. Lochte has since said he over-exaggerated some of the initial details, although a USA TODAY Sports investigation reported that Brazilian authorities may have embellished some allegations as well.
Feigen retold a similar account to the others on what went down after they left a party at French House.
“We pulled over to a gas station to use the bathroom but the door was locked,” Feigen said. “We did not force entry into the bathroom, nor did we ever enter the bathroom. We did, however, make the regrettable decision to urinate in the grass behind the building.”
He omitted the urination part when he first spoke with police, but gave the full story when he was subsequently interviewed by authorities.
“On our way back to the cab, Ryan Lochte pulled a poster in a metal frame off a wall,” Feigen said. “I got back into the cab and waited for the others. One of my teammates told me that a man with a gun was standing outside the cab. The man with the gun spoke with the cab driver, who got out of the cab. We then got out of the cab and I paid the driver the fare. As I walked away, the man with the gun pointed it at me and my teammates and ordered us, in Portuguese, to sit. This was the first time I have ever had a gun pointed at me and I was terrified.”
Feigen said he and Bentz paid for the damage to the poster.