Gotta catch ’em all? Two LAPD officers have been fired after an investigation showed that they ignored a robbery in progress because they had spotted a Snorlax in Pokémon Go.
According to court documents published by the state of California, on April 15th, 2017, former officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell failed to respond to a radio call asking for assistance with a robbery at the Macy’s in Crenshaw Mall, even though they were parked in an alley just off Crenshaw Blvd within sight of the Macy’s. Instead, they focused on the augmented reality game Pokémon Go, which tasks players with searching real-life locations in order to capture the virtual creatures.
After hearing about a “211 [robbery] in progress,” the two men immediately shirked their duty by “placing themselves Code 6 somewhere else.” At that time, a digital in-car video system (DICVS) caught Officer Mitchell alerting Lozano that a “Snorlax” had “just popped up” at “46th and Leimert.”
“Aw, screw it,” Lozano said. The two men discussed different routes they could take, and Mitchell said, “We got four minutes.” But they spent more than 20 minutes in pursuit of Pokémon.
On the way to the Snorlax, Officer Mitchell told Officer Lozano of a different creature, saying “a Togetic just popped up.” As the robbery continued, the DICVS captured Mitchell and Lozano battling the Togetic. Mitchell could be heard pleading, “Don’t run away. Don’t run away,” and saying, ““Holy crap, man. This thing is fighting the crap out of me.” Meanwhile, Lozano announced he had “buried it and ultra-balled” the Togetic. After a few minutes, Mitchell was apparently successful, saying, “Holy crap. Finally.”