Oct 05 2016

POKEMON GO —STOP!

pic-pokemon

The mania surrounding “Pokemon Go” is escalating as more users find themselves in precarious situations while playing the augmented reality game.  Two California men fell off a bluff while playing the smartphone game, while another player was stabbed by group of men in a park.

The incidents come as law enforcement agencies across the nation are reporting a plethora of Pokemon-related attacks and odd happenings since the game was released.

Firefighters had to rescue two men who fell several stories off the crumbling sandstone bluff in Encinitas, California according to authorities. The men, who were in their early 20s, were playing “Pokemon Go” at the time and likely were led to the cliff when they were trying to catch characters!

One man fell 75 to 100 feet. As firefighters rescued the man, they found the second man unconscious 50 feet down the bluff.  Both were taken to area trauma centers and suffered moderate injuries. The men, told authorities they had crossed a fenced area to get to the bluff.   People need to realize this is a game, but it’s not worth your life. No game is worth your life.

These incidences should serve as a reminder to “Pokemon Go” players to pay attention to their surroundings.  Your focus should be on what’s in front of you, so you don’t lose sight of what is happening.  Law enforcement agencies have warned that the game could leave players vulnerable to criminals.  Just in California, two men were reportedly robbed and carjacked Sunday while playing the game and trying to catch fictional characters at a Sacramento County park.

About 100 miles south, a brother and sister were robbed of their smartphones Sunday while playing “Pokemon Go” in San Francisco.  Two former Marines playing the game in Fullerton helped nab a man who was wanted in connection with attempted murder in Sonoma County. They notified police after they noticed the man was bothering children at a playground.

But in the world of Pokemon, it’s not crime all the time. Some bizarre happenings also have been associated with the game.  In San Luis Obispo County, California it was reported that a sober-living facility, Sunny Acres, had been a designated stop in the latest “Pokemon Go” craze. The facility houses released sex offenders, which was a concern for the staff because their clients can’t be around children.

An upstate New York Pokéfanatic was playing the wildly popular game when he veered off the road and crashed into a tree.  There were no serious injuries in the clumsy crash, which damaged the front of the wannabe Pokémon master’s car, cracking the windshield.  Luckily the driver was not seriously injured, but this is an example of how easily accidents can occur when someone is engaged in the game and not paying attention. The 28-year-old driver told officials he was distracted by the game when he plowed into the tree.  He suffered cuts to both his legs and was taken to the Hospital for minor injuries.

Pokémon Go users need to use common sense while playing: don’t chase the virtual creatures while behind the wheel or on a bicycle and be aware of one’s surroundings. Those that aren’t careful are finding themselves scarred and bruised from their misguided adventurers.