Ryan Lochte Sparks ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Security ‘Incident’ as Audience Members Storm Stage

ABC reality show jumps to a commercial break to remove the protesting intruders

Last Updated: September 13, 2016 @ 9:48 PM

UPDATED: At 10.45 p.m., with statements from BBC Worldwide Productions and the LAPD.


Ryan Lochte certainly sparks strong reactions from people.

The suspended Olympic swimmer made his debut on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday, but the show had to jump to an emergency commercial break when two audience members heckled Lochte and stormed the stage where he stood with partner Cheryl Burke.

“We had a little break because we had a little incident,” Bergeron said. “I would like to personally thank our security team for staying in shape.”

In a statement to TheWrap later in the evening, a spokesperson for BBC Worldwide Productions, which develops and produces the show, said, “Two individuals stormed the dance floor tonight and were immediately subdued and escorted out of the building. The matter is now being handled by the authorities.”

While the cameras cut away from the action on air, ABC7 entertainment reporter George Pennacchio posted a photo on Twitter of the two alleged suspects — both wearing T-shirts with Lochte’s name crossed out — sitting handcuffed outside CBS Studios in Los Angeles.

A spokesperson for the LAPD told TheWrap that the two individuals “were placed under private person’s arrest by security guards for trespassing, which is a misdemeanor.” They are currently in custody being booked and will then be charged.

Clearly shaken after the incident, judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, “Wow,” when the show returned and then told Lochte, “We are only here to judge your ballroom dancing.”

ABC7 reported that the network said that four to five other women were escorted out of the audience after chanting against Lochte.

According to People, pro dancer Derek Hough ran to the stage and yelled to security, “get them out of here,” when he noticed the disturbance.

“This is my home and I was just so shocked that people would come here and be so negative,” Hough told People. “This is a safe place for people to learn a new skill and seek redemption or start a new chapter in their life and that’s what Ryan is trying to do and I just felt so defensive that someone would try and ruin that for him and for everyone watching, so I took it upon myself to make sure they were escorted out. I wanted to protect my home.”

Fellow contestant Jana Kramer also told People that, afterwards, “Ryan was backstage and close to tears. Everyone makes mistakes and I really hope America gets to see the guy we are all getting to know, which is a really, really nice guy.”

See video and tweets about the incident below.


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