Men Who Stormed ‘DWTS’ Stage to Protest Ryan Lochte Are Charged
Two men who stormed the stage during embattled U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s premier on “Dancing With the Stars” are facing criminal charges.
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office on Monday filed charges against Sam Sotoodeh, 59, and Barzeen Soroudi, 25, a spokesman for the office confirmed Tuesday.
They were charged with leaving a spectator area and entering the stage, as well as interfering with a performance. The Sept. 12 incident prompted an abrupt commercial break on the ABC show.
Los Angeles police at the time said the pair of protesters were authorized audience members at CBS Television City in the Fairfax neighborhood.
The two men stormed onto the stage when Lochte and his dance partner were receiving the judges’ criticism for their performance. They wore shirts with the swimmer’s name crossed out.
The pair were tackled by security and escorted out. They were arrested by LAPD and bailed out late the next morning, inmate records show.
Lochte has been under fire for discredited statements he made about an alleged armed robbery during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Lochte told CNN he was “heartbroken” by the protesters’ interruption.
The maximum sentence the two could face if convicted is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, according to the city attorney’s spokesman.
They are due for arraignment on Oct. 4.
The spelling of one suspect’s name and both their ages are different from what was initially provided by the Los Angeles Police Department.