2 protesters charged for ‘Dancing with the Stars’ incident

Scales of Justice

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28 (UPI) — The two men who rushed the stage during a Dancing With the Stars taping to protest Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte have been charged, officials said Tuesday.

Barzeen Soroudi, 25, and Sam Sotoodeh, 59, were charged with leaving a spectator area and interrupting a live performance, charges that could lead to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each man, according to the Los Angeles city attorney’s office.

Soroudi and Sotoodeh are scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 4 in a Los Angeles Superior courtroom.

The two men had tickets for the Sept. 12 taping and planned to protest the controversial Olympian’s appearance during the live show, according to Officer Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Soroudi and Sotoodeh jumped onto the stage wearing t-shirts with Lochte’s name crossed out as the show’s judges critiqued Lochte and his dancing partner. Security quickly tackled the men and removed them from the studio.

The two were arrested by Los Angeles police a short time later.

Lochte created an international incident when he announced he’d been robbed at gunpoint at a Rio de Janeiro gas station during the Summer Olympics, but video footage and witnesses later called the story into question.