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Ryan Lochte Rushed By Protesters During “Dancing With The Stars” Debut

Security intervened after protesters rushed the stage at the end of Lochte's performance. Two men were later arrested by Los Angeles police.

Originally posted on
Updated on

As judges assessed his moves, something happened.

ABC

"Excuse me. Hey, back off," judge Carrie Ann Inaba said as Lochte's dance was replayed. The camera didn't show what was happening to Lochte, and the broadcast quickly went to commercial.

Fans watching other angles of the show online said it looked like someone in the audience tried to attack Lochte. Security guards tackled the person.

that was crazyyy and scary! #DWTS #RyanLochte

ABC New York reported that two men burst onto the stage and a brief, physical altercation took place. At least four other people chanting against Lochte were also taken out of the set, ABC 7 reported.

ABC released #DWTS protestor footage to #GMA and from this angle, it's quite intense https://t.co/jCE4txLKSk

When the show returned from the four-minute break, host Tom Bergeron thanked security for their quick intervention. He then asked Lochte how he was doing.

Weak explanation after commercial from #DWTS when Ryan Lochte seemingly rushed by a fan.

"I'm doing good," Lochte said.

"So many feelings are going through my head right now," Lochte continued. "I'm hurt, but you know, I came out here, I wanted to do something completely I'm not comfortable with. And I did."

Idiot On The Field Invades Ryan Lochte's Dancing With The Stars Segment

An ABC reporter tweeted a photo of two men with their hands restrained, wearing shirts that protested Lochte.

This is the cause of the #DWTS disruption. More to come.

The two men were placed under private arrest for trespassing at CBS Studios, and later arrested by Los Angeles police for unlawfully entering the stage in an attempt to confront Lochte, LAPD Officer Mike Lopez told BuzzFeed News. Both suspects were in their forties, he said.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to ABC's Dancing With the Stars for more information.

Lochte became embroiled in an international incident during the Rio Olympics after he said he was robbed at gunpoint with other US swimmers after a night of partying. Brazilian authorities disputed his story, and Lochte later admitted he had "over-exaggerated" what was actually an encounter with a gas station security guard demanding payment for vandalism. The Olympic star is now facing charges in Brazil and has been suspended from competition.

Leading up to the Monday night premiere, Burke wrote in her blog for People that Lochte was focused and thinking positively in spite of what had happened.

"Through the dance, we're sort of telling the story of what's happened with him recently," Burke wrote. "At the beginning of the dance, we are fighting and I don't want anything to do with him. But the theme of the dance is forgiveness and giving people chances."

"Thanks to our security team and incredible staff at #DWTS, no one got hurt," Inaba later wrote on Instagram. "Only positive energy here tonight and always."

Instagram: @carrieanninaba

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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