Pokémon Go is one of those games that just can’t help spilling over into the real world — it’s an AR game, after all. This became very clear after the rather tumultuous launch period back when the game released in 2016, which resulted in more than a few collisions and pedestrian accidents. However, we have a new Pokémon Go incident to add to the annals today. Washington State TV station KATU reports that two Pokémon Go players were assaulted at Vancouver’s Burnt Bridge Creek Trail over a Gym battle.
As KATU reports:
Andrew Otton and two of his friends were hanging out at Vancouver’s Burnt Bridge Creek Trail when a stranger parked his car, and started charging at them.
“He comes out of nowhere, yelling, ‘WHICH ONE OF YOU IS ANDY?’ with a tire iron in his hand,” Andrew Otton said. “My username is AndySamberg, so he was looking for the Andy guy and I was just reviving my Pokemon when he was trying to take it out. I took it from him, and I didn’t know he just took it, and he was like, ‘Hey did you just take this gym from me? That’s pretty messed up man.’ He was very angrily saying it.”
Grayson Hagstrom, Otton’s friend, said he was punched by the stranger several times.
“I got behind him and started choking him,” Hagstro said. “I figured if he didn’t have consciousness, he wouldn’t be that tough.”
Court records report that suspect Stephen Jolly admits to hitting the table with a tire iron, but not punching Otton and his friends. Otton and Hagstrom caught Jolly’s license plate and shared it around social media.
“We posted about it on Facebook and showed his license plate. Other people told us he’s done this before and we were just the first to stop him,” Hagstrom said to KATU.
Jolly is currently facing assault and malicious mischief charges over the confrontation.