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“Pokemon Go” Game Leads to Shooting as Homeowner Mistakes Pokemon Players for Burglars

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“Pokemon Go” Game Leads to Shooting as Homeowner Mistakes Pokemon Players for Burglars

July 19, 2016

People in New Jersey need to be extremely careful about how they use technology and about how they respond to people who use technology – even when that technology is a video game or smartphone application. A recent shooting incident in Florida highlighted some of the dangers posed by the incredibly popular new “Pokemon Go” game, which has seemingly become a national obsession since its release last week.

Police with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office in Florida are investigating the shooting incident. The scary situation unfolded around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. According to law enforcement, a 37-year-old man was asleep in his house, located in Palm Coast, Florida, when he heard a loud noise. The suspect peered out of his window and noticed two teenagers sitting in a white vehicle parked outside his home.

The homeowner mistakenly thought that the teens were about to commit a burglary, so he grabbed a handgun, walked out of the residence, and approached the victims’ car. The suspect reportedly heard one of the teenagers inside the car say, “Did you get anything?” The suspect did not realize that the teen was referring to a Pokemon character in the iPhone game; instead, he mistakenly thought that the teen was talking about proceeds from a burglary and theft.

The suspect decided to take the law into his own hands and stood directly in front of the victims’ motor vehicle. The driver was understandably alarmed and hit the gas. Just before the suspect jumped out of the path of the car, he fired his gun several times in the direction of the victims.

The suspect did not realize that he done anything wrong, so he dialed 911 and alerted local law enforcement to what he believed was a burglary attempt. The following morning, the mother of the 19-year-old victim saw that her car had bullet holes and immediately contacted the police.

The two victims, a 16-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man, did not sustain any injuries as a result of the violent incident.

Meanwhile, police in Florida has provided some safety tips to people who play the new Pokemon Go game. These safety recommendations may be useful to anyone, whether they reside in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or anywhere else in the US. Individuals who find themselves outside while playing the popular game should remain alert at all times and try their best to be aware of their surroundings. Also, Pokemon Go players should avoid trespassing on other people’s property.

For more information, read the Hufffington Post article, “Man Opens Fire on Two ‘Pokemon Go’ Players in Florida.”


If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated assault, illegal handgun possession, or any other criminal offense in New Jersey, the aggressive NJ criminal defense lawyers at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC can help you fight the charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation about your case.

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