Pokémon Go Crime Roundup #3: Florida Men, Car Crashes, A Paintball Threat, And More

Photo: Harlingen Police Department

While CrimeFeed covered positive Pokémon Go stories last week (and some unsettling ones weeks before that), the app is still making crime headlines — be careful out there, folks!

1. Man Threatened To “Purge” Pokémon Go Players With Paintball Gun

A Texas man found himself so fed up with the mobile game that he ranted on Facebook about his plans to “take out”  Pokémon Go players on sight.

Digital Trends produced a copy of Nathan Cerda’s (pictured above) problematic Facebook post, which reads as follows:

Warning……All u Pokemon Go people tomorrow me and some friends are taking out our modified paintball guns and we gonna Purge. And I know you stupid people are walking all over the place looking at the phone trying to find these Pokemon. Tomorrow we are going to be everywhere so be aware of your surroundings.

 

Cerda, who presumably was making a reference to the 2013 movie The Purge, in which all crime is legal for one day a year, also “liked” his own Facebook post. The 29-year-old, who is a registered sex offender for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl, was arrested for making a terroristic threat.

2. Three Hikers Unearth Dead Body During Pokéxcursion

Three women stumbled upon a corpse in a San Diego park while searching for Pokémon. According to NBC 7, Amanda Titialii, Krystyl Estrada, and her sister, Apryl Lopez called police on July 14 at 2:51 P.M. after they discovered a body while hiking at Marian Bear Park. The trio claimed the body was decomposing and suspected the deceased, who was found by a tree, had used it for shelter. The San Diego Police Department have yet to identify the man, but said they do not believe foul play was involved.

3. Florida Man Played Pokémon Go, Smoked Weed In Car, Cops Say

A Florida man was arrested for allegedly smoking weed while playing Pokémon Go while in his vehicle. Phil Blakney’s car smelled of pot, described as a “robust odor,” and Miami cops say they discovered a bag containing the drug during a search. The Palm Beach Post reports that police ultimately charged him with possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

 4. (Another) Florida Man Allegedly Shoots At Teens For Using Game Near Home

Pokémon Go in Florida is apparently a recipe for disaster as another man from the Sunshine State reportedly shot at two enthusiasts who got too close to his property. The unnamed man told police that he opened fire at the teens at 1:30 A.M. July 16 after seeing their car parked in front of his home. According to the New York Daily News, the man said the teens sped away as he unloaded several shots. The mother of one of the teens, who mentioned to cops that the kids were playing Pokémon Go during the incident, called cops after noticing bullet holes in the flat car tire.

5. Two Suspects Accused Of Mugging Pokémon Go–Playing Tourist In Central Park

Though they were quickly arrested, two men purportedly mugged a tourist while he enjoyed the mobile game in Central Park on July 19. Court papers obtained by the New York Daily News state that Camacho Navla told the victim he had a gun and Brian Matz took the victim’s phone, charger, and wallet. Though the suspects told the New Hampshire resident to “Don’t remember us,” an app in the victim’s phone tracked the pair down. Thanks to Find My iPhone, police apprehended Navla and Matz on E. 106th Street that day and charged them with robbery.

6. In Two Separate Incidents, Wisconsin Men Crash Their Car While On Booze, Pokémon Go

Benjamin Schappe and Jordan Speigle

Benjamin Schappe, 25, (left) and Jordan Speigle, 26, (right) were arrested in separate drunk-driving incidents. Schappe and Speigle both admitted to playing Pokémon Go before crashing.

Two Wisconsin men crashed their cars during the early hours of July 16. The common thread? They were both allegedly drunkenly playing Pokémon Go. The Smoking Gun reports that Benjamin Schappe of Verona collided with a pole after cops say he “failed to negotiate a curve” and Jordan Speigle veered into a tree. While Shappe was transported to a nearby hospital with “non-life-threatening injuries,” Speigle narrowly escaped death as exited his Mitsubishi Galant before it burst into flames.

Both fessed up to being on the mobile app at the time of the incident. Schappe was charged with inattentive and drunk driving while Speigle was cited for drunk driving and driving without insurance.

7. Oregon Police Bombarded With Pokémon Go-Related Incidents

The Forest Grove Police Department were especially burdened by Pokémon Go the week of July 10. A police log published by The Oregonian details not one, but three incidents linked to the app. One of the most memorable crimes occurred on July 13 when police investigating a storage shed break-in found a telling message on a nearby whiteboard: “I broke in for the Pokémon.”

On July 14, cops were tasked with locating a lost 5-year-old who had been using Pokémon Go alone. A day later, Pokémon Go struck again, as Forest Grove police looked into suspicious people at a local park in the middle of the night. To their surprise, they were just catching some Pokémon, and police reminded them that the park is closed at night.

8. Teen Reportedly Gunned Down While Playing Pokémon Go

In the first murder related to Pokémon Go, a teen in Guatemala was reportedly shot to death while playing the game. After seeing a Pokémon was nearby, Jerson Lopez de Leon and his cousin, Daniel Moises Picen, decided to break into a Chiquimila home. Mirror reports the pair were attacked in an ambush after leaving the home; Leon was killed and Picen was badly injured. Witnesses reported seeing a van veer away from the scene where police later recovered 20 shells. It hasn’t been determined whether the shooting was tied to the break-in.

Main photo: Nathan Cerda [Harlingen Police Department]