7 True Deaths And Injuries That Happened While Playing 'Pokémon GO'
This list feels as ghoulish as a Gengar. Be warned gentle trainer, these true events are not for the faint of heart. It’s not that Pokémon GO is a dangerous game. Unless you’re being an utter Smeargle and playing while you drive. And there’s another common factor involved in many of these deaths that was frankly shocking to read about time and again, but maybe shouldn’t surprise us as much as it does. See if you can spot the thread.
Witnessed A Robbery
In New Mexico a 21 year old player was out catching Pokémon on the mobile app when a nearby robbery took place. She witnessed two people holding up someone in a nearby vehicle, when she turned to leave the dangerous scene, they turned their guns on her and she died from her injuries. Another horrible incident of gun violence, which had nothing to do with playing a mobile game and everything to do with the rampant wave of deaths which is a particularly American hell.
Got Into A Fight
A man was thrown into a lake after being beat up by a father and son duo over a dispute regarding a gym in Pokémon GO. The victim says the attackers tried to drown him as he was trying to get out of the lake until a passer-by stepped in and stopped them. The incident happened in 2018 in Kirkwood, Missouri and bizarrely, the victim said he had been attacked by the same attacker a year prior. It seems like someone’s got a real rival on their road to victory. Guys, if you’re reading this, rivals are just supposed to race each other and then ultimately become friends… not try to turn each other into a Haunter…
Shot In A Park
A few months after the game’s release in August of 2016, a shooting made national headlines when rising baseball player Calvin Riley was shot and killed playing Pokémon GO with a group of friends in San Francisco. The shooting appeared to have no motive and be an act of random gun violence. Pokémon GO doesn’t kill people, people with guns kill people.
We in the States often think of Canada as a peaceful haven. And on one side of this story, that is totally true. Damian Sobieraj was walking his dog and playing Pokémon GO at a park in Brockville, a small town in Ontario. He came across some teens vandalizing a tree and tried to stop them. They pushed him into the nearby river and ran, maybe not knowing that he couldn’t swim. Tragically, Sobieraj drowned and Brockville lost a good Samaritan. The 14 year old who pushed him was later convicted of manslaughter.
Feel Onto A Train Track
A British man fell onto some high voltage train tracks and suffered horrible electrical burns because he wasn’t paying attention while trying to catch ‘em all. His legs, arms, jaw, and body were all badly wounded and he was immediately hospitalized and underwent multiple surgeries. The injury was so bad that doctors in the UK were forced to amputate the man’s leg after the flesh began to decay.
A study in 2018 found that the increase in accidents, vehicle damage, and fatalities spiked big time after the game was introduced. The research team analyzed police incident reports from Tippecanoe County, Indiana and used their findings to guesstimate that the overall federal cost of people playing Pokémon GO during the first 148 days after its release could be as high as 7 billion dollars.
The Duck Walk Killer
In Chicago, a thriving, wonderful American city with more than its fair share of gun violence (any amount is more than a fair share) a young man was randomly shot and killed while out near his poke haunts. He was a beloved member of the Pokémon GO community in his neighborhood and a few days later another man was randomly killed by the same murderer. The perpetrator is now known as the Duck Walk Killer and is still at large.
You know… now that these are all listed out, it begs the question, “Is it really Pokémon GO’s fault?” The leg injury and the father son attack were horrible, no question, but no one lost their life. Except for the drowning, the majority of deaths while people play a silly anime game about monsters were due to random gun violence. Legally acquired guns that would never be used for hunting or protecting anything. Driving while on your phone is obviously a stupidly dangerous thing to do. But walking in the park isn't, meeting up with your friends isn’t. If only there were some clear, immediate steps we could all take in our lives that would prevent anything like this from happening ever again. Oh yeah there is actually. Support gun reform, even the most die hard freedom fighters can still keep their guns and agree that some folks are too dangerously ill to have a weapon. And obviously, please, for the love of Arceus get off your phone while you drive.