Jason Lee, a jiu-jitsu fighter who trains in Brazil, apparently had quite a Saturday.
What did you guys get up to yesterday?
I got kidnapped. Go Olympics!#Rio2016
— Jason Lee (@jasonleejitsu) July 24, 2016
Stuff magazine in New Zealand has more on Lee’s ordeal:
A Kiwi sportsman was forced into a car by armed police and made to withdraw the equivalent of NZ$850 in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil over the weekend, just 13 days before the Olympics are set to start in the city.
The police, who warned him not to report the incident and made efforts to avoid being seen, detained Jason Lee after pulling him off a highway into the city on Sunday (NZ time).
After forcing him to drive the wrong way down the highway, they transferred him into an unmarked car, then took him to several ATMs to withdraw the money. …
He was more scared for his life than he had ever been.
“I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I could possibly die,” Lee said.
The ordeal began, Lee told Stuff (his girlfriend’s employer), when two apparent police officers pulled him over on motorcycles. The armed officers said they were looking for drugs and weapons and conducted a very thorough search.
“First he asked me stretch my arms, then patted me down. He grabbed my genital area, which was quite a surprise,” Lee said.
Lee said the police told him that, as a foreigner, he couldn’t drive in Brazil without a passport, which the actual police later told him was not true. His assailants demanded the equivalent of about $610; otherwise, they said, they would arrest him. That’s when they forced him into the unmarked car and to the ATMs, releasing him after he came up with the cash. Lee reported the incident to the Tourist Police later that night.
Lee, who is not competing in next month’s Olympics, expanded on his ordeal on his Facebook page, expressing his dismay at how things have devolved in Rio with the Olympics about to begin.
“I’m not sure what’s more depressing, the fact this stuff is happening to foreigners so close to the Olympic Games or the fact that Brazilians have to live in a society that enables this absolute [malarkey] on a daily basis,” he wrote. “This place is well and truly [messed up] in every sense of the word imaginable.”