Among the myriad of stories pouring in about dangerous Pokemon Go game experiences happening in the world of AR (Augmented Reality), along comes news from Florida (of course) about a real-world “stand your ground” type of incident which fortunately was not deadly – but could have been.
According to a report from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, on Saturday morning (July 16) about 1:30 a.m., a man fired several shots at the car of two young men who were playing Pokemon Go outside his home in Palm Coast, Florida.
The 37-year-old man said he was awakened by a noise, looked outside his home, and saw a white car. He thought that two teenagers, 19 and 16-year-old, were burglars ransacking houses when he reportedly heard them ask each other “Did you get anything?”
The man told police that he stepped in front of the vehicle and ordered the teens not to move. He said the vehicle accelerated toward him, causing him to jump out of the way. He then fired a gun several times at the vehicle because he thought they were trying to run over him.
The teens reportedly later told police that before the shooting they heard someone ask, “Did you catch him?” and one of the teens said, “Yeah, did you?”
They heard the gunfire as they sped off. They didn’t call police or tell their parents because they weren’t injured and had not seen any damage to the car.
But in the light of day, when the vehicle was found to have a flat tire and several bullet holes, they realized how deadly the encounter could have been, and the mother of one of the teens then called police.
Due to Florida’s infamous stand your ground law, it’s unlikely the unidentified homeowner will be arrested or face any charges, but it is possible.
law enforcement officials everywhere advise citizens to call 911 immediately with as much information as possible when you suspect someone is trying to break into your home, and avoid leaving the protection of your home to confront suspects.
Here are additional tips from Flagler County Sheriff’s Department:
Pokemon Go players are urged to follow these safety guidelines
- Use common sense, be alert at all times and stay aware of your surroundings. In law enforcement, we call this situational awareness.
- Watch where you are going.
- Do not drive or ride your bike, skateboard, or another device while interacting with the Pokemon Go app. You cannot do both safely at the same time.
- Do not trespass, go onto private property or into any area you usually, would not if you weren’t playing Pokemon Go.
- Understand that people can use your location to lure you to “PokeStops” so they can victimize you.
- Take a friend with you.
- If you are a minor, check with a parent before going anywhere and tell an adult or law enforcement officer immediately if anything happens.
Parents of Pokemon Go players
- Talk to your kids about strangers and set limits on where your kids go.
- Be aware of third-party software apps claiming to enhance the gaming experience. Unfortunately, many of these apps allow access to sensitive personal data.