Two men who sought to storm Ryan Lochte on Dancing With The Stars last month have today been put in their place by a state judge – sort of. At a downtown hearing Tuesday, Barzeen Soroudi and Sam Sotoodeh were ordered to stay at least 300 yards away from the Olympic swimmer and the CBS Television City studios on Beverly Blvd. where DWTS is filmed.
The duo were also told today by L.A. Superior Court Judge Gustavo Sztraicher that they had to stay 300 yards away from the nearby Grove shopping center and the Farmer’s Market plus the DWTS rehearsal space and the BBC offices in town.
Soroudi and Sotoodeh obtained tickets to the September 12 taping and then dashed out of the audience of the ABC show with anti-Lochte t-shirts on. Security tackled the men before they could reach the disgraced athlete, his dancing partner Cheryl Burke and the show’s host Tom Bergeron. DWTS cut to a commercial as the incident unfolded just off-screen live. Bergeron thanked security on-air for their quick response when the show came back from the break.
Charged with misdemeanors of interference and more by the L.A. City Attorney’s office, the two face up to half a year in jail and fines of $1,000 if convicted. However, if might be a while until that happens or not.
Today’s hearing saw Soroudi and Sotoodeh waive their right to a speedy trial and the arraignment now pushed back to October 21. Both men are out on bail pending further action in the matter.
Clearly shocked and shaken on camera by the attempted September stage crash, Lochte had just weathered a storm of controversy over false claims of being robbed at gunpoint while at the Rio Olympics. Brazilian authorities disputed Lochte’s claims and he walked them back significantly after jumping on a plane to the States. In early September, the Gold medalist was suspended from swimming events for 10 months over his B.S. by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Lochte is also banned from the 2017 world championship meet in Budapest in July, and had his invite to the White House for the traditional congratulatory visit ripped up.
With that in mind, the Olympian is still a contestant on DWTS and even had another incident on the show last night – though that turned out to be cries of support not hecklers after all.