Ex-Olympic swimmer Klete Keller faces 3 federal charges for participation in U.S. Capitol riots

0
69
Ex-Olympic swimmer Klete Keller faces 3 federal charges for participation in U.S. Capitol riots


Klete Keller, a two-time U.S. Olympic swimming gold medalist, was charged Wednesday for allegedly participating in last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

According to court records, Keller was charged with obstructing law enforcement, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct. All are federal crimes.

It wasn’t clear if he had been taken into custody.

Messages seeking comment left by The Associated Press with Keller and his sister, former Olympic swimmer Kalyn Keller, were not immediately returned.

“We respect private individuals’ and groups’ rights to peacefully protest but in no way condone the actions taken by those at the Capitol last week,” USA Swimming said in a statement, noting that Keller has not been a member of the organization since he retired after the 2008 Beijing Games.

Video footage appeared to show Keller, 38, maskless and donning a Team USA jacket during the riot, and his alleged participation was first reported by the swimming news site SwimSwam. He was part of the U.S. swim team at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, anchoring the 4×200 freestyle. In 2004 in Athens, he notably held off Australia’s Ian Thorpe to help his team — which featured Michael Phelps — win gold.

The FBI was able to identify Keller because of his Team USA jacket spotted in the video, court documents revealed.

Keller had most recently worked as a real estate agent in Colorado Springs with the agency Hoff & Leigh. His employment was confirmed to SwimSwam, but his profile has since been removed.

Keller has since deleted all of his social media accounts, though he had posted in the past his ardent support of President Donald Trump. The most recent public photos of him on Instagram are from 2017 at an event outside Boston.

The Jan. 6 riots by pro-Trump supporters in protest of the election certification of President-elect Joe Biden resulted in the deaths of five people, including a U.S. Capitol police officer. Dozens of people have since been arrested.

Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, denounced the melee that left five people dead.

“I strongly condemn the actions of the rioters at the U.S. Capitol,” she said in a statement. “They do not represent the values of the United States of America or of Team USA.”

Hirshland went on to say, “At home, and around the world, Team USA athletes are held to a very high standard as they represent our country on the field of play and off. What happened in Washington, D.C., was a case where that standard was clearly not met. The people involved attacked the very fabric of the democracy we all proudly represent and, in turn, also let our community down. I urge everyone associated with Team USA to continue to celebrate our diversity of background and beliefs, stand together against hatred and divisiveness, and use our influence to create positive change in our community.”

ESPN’s Kelly Cohen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here