The beginning Pokémon Go the frenzy apparently led to bad choices on the part of two policemen. Like Axes‘ Stephen Totilo and BBC News report, the LAPD is now known firing agents Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell for ignoring a heist on April 15, 2017 to play Niantic’s augmented reality blockbuster. Rather than responding to a radio call demanding a backup for a robbery at Macy’s in the Crenshaw Mall, police reportedly spent the next 20 minutes driving to catch a Snorlax (a rare find in the game) and a Togetic.
Lozano and Mitchell denied playing Pokémon Go and insisted they were only having a “conversation” about the game, but the onboard camera revealed that they had discussed the theft call and chose to ignore it. Another officer also saw the cruiser leaving the area after the call. Details came to light when ex-cops lost a call that allegedly dismissed damning footage of alleged rights violations.
The incident came months after Niantic started discouraging drivers from gambling, and it’s safe to say times like this are less likely when Pokémon Go demand has cooled. Still, it highlights the dangers of AR metavers and addicting gameplay – it can be too tempting to shy away from real-life tasks when the virtual world beckons.
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