Two men were arrested tonight after crashing Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte‘s live debut on Dancing With the Stars.
Police called the incident a “pre-planned”. The two Los Angeles men, Sam Sododeh, 48, and Barzeen Soroudi, 40, rushed the stage area after Lochte’s and Cheryl Burke‘s performance and security tackled them to the ground. The men were audience members, and later changed into anti-Lochte t-shirts to disrupt the broadcast.
Four or five women responsible for anti-Lochte chants of “liar!” were escorted out of the audience, the network said.
Video of the incident posted on Instagram by fellow Olympic swimmer Ed Moses shows security guards pinning down a man and escorting him out, as well as employees making a group of women wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts leave the audience. Moses wrote,
“This crap is getting old I love u @ryanlochte and respect you putting yourself out there, you are one of a kind!! … #respect“
ABC News reporter Jason Nathanson tweeted a photo from the scene showing two men who were wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts in handcuffs.
Lochte — who’s been trying to rehab his reputation after he “overexaggerated” claims that he and three teammates were robbed at gunpoint during the Summer Olympic Games in Rio.
The incident didn’t appear on camera. The broadcast quickly cut to a commercial as host Tom Bergeron told the audience to “take a breath.” When the show returned from the break, Bergeron explained:
“We had to go to break because we had a little incident.“
Bergeron then interviewed Lochte and Burke. Lochte said,
“I’m doing good. So many feelings are going through my head right now. A little hurt. I came out here and wanted to do something I’m completely not comfortable with, and I did, and I came out here with a big smile.“
One of the show’s judges, choreographer Carrie Ann Inaba, was on camera trying to deliver her verdict on the dancers’ performance when the incident occurred. She posted later on Instagram:
“no one got hurt. Only positive energy here tonight and always.“
(via NBC News)