Riley Gaines hostage for ransom, investigation - WWSG (2024)

Campus police say the charges are ‘unfounded’ after Gaines was held hostage for ransom in April 2023

The San Francisco State University Police Department has suspended its investigation into women’s sports activist and former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines’hostage incident and assault last year, saying the alleged charges are “unfounded.”

Gaines, an OutKick contributor, said she was assaulted andheld hostage for ransomin April 2023 after speaking at an event hosted by conservative campus organization, Turning Point USA, at San Francisco State University about her experience in her senior year of college competing against male swimmer Lia Thomas. The two had tied for fifth place in a national swimming championship.

Following Gaines’ speech, she was met by a mob of violent protesters that she said stormed into the room, turned off the lights, rushed to the podium where she was standing and assaulted her before holding her hostage.

Riley Gaines hostage for ransom, investigation - WWSG (1)

Former collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines testified during a House Oversight Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services hearing on Capitol Hill December 5, 2023 in Washington, DC.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Gaines was then barricaded in a room after the assault, and has said she had been hit multiple times, even while under police protection.

Gaines, the director of the Riley Gaines Center at the Leadership Institute and host of Outkick’s“Gaines for Girls”podcast, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that she followed up with the San Francisco State University Police Department last month on its investigation into the incident “where I was held hostage.”

“Can you please let me know if you have completed your investigation?” She wrote in an email reviewed by Fox News Digital. “I wondered if you can share with me any conclusions you have reached regarding your investigation and whether any charges will be filed against the individuals who sought to threaten, intimidate and harm me? Is there a timetable concerning this matter? Is there any additional information you need from me?”

In an email dated Feb. 2, an officer replied: “After a thorough investigation, the alleged charges in this case are unfounded and have been suspended pending further lead.”

The officer said the department sent emails to Gaines in June and July of last year “for a case follow up,” which they claim “went unanswered.”

The officer then requested “any photos and/or videos you may have in your possession as well as the contact information for anyone who was present that may have digital evidence.”

The officer added: “Please do so and the case may be further investigated.”

But Gaines told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview Wednesday that after the incident in April 2023, she met with campus police for hours and provided them with an official statement.

Riley Gaines hostage for ransom, investigation - WWSG (2)

Riley Gaines speaks at Penn State University.(Riley Gaines)

“We talked for multiple hours. I told them over and over and over and over and over again what had happened, which, all the while, both of the officers that I was talking to were there, so it is not like they didn’t know what happened,” Gaines told Fox News Digital.

Gaines said one of the officers present for the incident sent the email notifying her that the investigation had been suspended.

Gaines told Fox News Digital that the emails the campus police sent to her in June and July were requests to meet again, and to share her story “again.”

“I just wasn’t willing to do that,” Gaines said, telling Fox News Digital that she was advised against it. Gaines said advisors told her she had already given a statement and didn’t need to do so again.

Gaines also said the campus police had promised to give her security footage for her review by the beginning of July, but said “they never provided the footage.”

Meanwhile, Gaines reflected on the incident, describing the mob of protesters.

“They were everything under the sun,” she said. “Women, men, men dressed as women, women dressed as men — and everything in between, which is why it was so disorienting.”

“These people turned the lights off, flickered the lights for a bit, which I imagine was done entirely strategically,” she explained. “I was confused and trying to make sense of what was happening.”

Gaines told Fox News Digital that as she was being assaulted, a female officer — whom she said is the same officer who notified her that the investigation had been suspended — approached her and tried to take her to a separate location.

“I didn’t meet any police before the event, and she was totally unmarked, wearing all black, her face was in a mask, so she comes up to me, and says ‘come with me, I’m the police’ and was grabbing me and pulling me,” Gaines said. “I didn’t believe that she was with the police because there really was no indication that she was, but I honestly didn’t really have a choice.”

Gaines said the officer took her to a back room where she was ultimately barricaded and held hostage for ransom for more than four hours.

Riley Gaines hostage for ransom, investigation - WWSG (3)

Riley Gaines addresses the crowd at Madison Public Library in Madison, Alabama, Saturday August 5, 2023. This event is part of a reading tour of 300 libraries by Kirk Cameron which promotes books with Christian values.(Dana Mixer for Fox News Digital)

Gaines said that the protesters outside the room she was being held in were “negotiating a price I had to pay each of them to leave to be able to make it home safe to see my family.”

Gaines said the students came to an agreement that she had to pay them each $10, but eventually, the San Francisco Police came to the scene.

“They were able to effectively remove me,” she said.

Gaines told Fox News Digital that she feels that the suspension of the investigation sets a precedent.

“This just encourages what happened to me to happen to other people because the precedent has now been set,” she said. “We don’t see this happening to liberal speakers or to anyone with a dissenting viewpoint to that of my own.”

Gaines told Fox News Digital that the protesters “had every intention of getting me to step down essentially, to shut up, to scare me into submission.”

“But this does not do that,” Gaines said. “Actually, it does the opposite.”

“These people who want me to be quiet, it really only encourages me to speak louder,” Gaines added.

San Francisco State University Police Department did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Riley Gaines hostage for ransom, investigation - WWSG (2024)
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