Saturday, July 30, 2016

That Time I Almost Got Arrested Playing Pokemon Go

Can you imagine how embarrassing that would be to try and explain to the bar? Good grief.

Basically, what happened was last night, Fiancé got off work at 11 and wanted to go hang out with some friends for awhile. So we did. While we were there, a bunch of people were talking about heading over to this park where there were about 8 Pokestops in one city block and they always had lures.

We decided to go too. That was our first mistake. The second mistake was that apparently, that specific park closes at ten. We had no idea because the other parks we've gone to don't have that rule. So of course, it never occurred to us to check. We get to the park and there are almost two hundred people running around in the dark, playing Pokemon.

Guys, it was hilarious.

Well, it was hilarious until the cops show up and decide to walk past 50 plus people to focus on our group and tells us he's going to arrest us for trespassing unless we tell him the name of the Pokestop so the city can have it removed. Being relatively polite humans, we try to tell him that there are about eight and here's how you find them. We show him on our phones. Then he tells us, those aren't pokemon things, those are property of the city.

Anyone who has played Pokemon Go understands why this made us laugh. But we tried to explain the way Pokestops works.

Moving on, we tell him that we weren't aware that the park was closed but we would certainly leave immediately. This apparently upset him because he went on a rant about how he'd chased us all out two hours ago and if we came back then, we'd come back now and how it wasn't going to stop until he started arresting people.

Not wanting to get arrested by a man who undoubtedly never thought he'd have to worry about Pokemon hunters in public parks when he joined the police force, I tried to explain that as far as we could tell, all the people in the park right then, including ourselves, had all recently arrived.  Therefore, it might be more effective to find a way to keep people from coming to the park after hours instead of continuously chasing new ones out.

So then he asked us to go on our Pokemon website and tell people to stay away. We tried to explain that we didn't have one but that we would tell all our friends in the hopes that it'd get passed around. He started talking about arresting people again. Sigh

This poor man could not understand how we'd all heard about it if there wasn't one central place telling us the good places to go. Everyone we talked to that night had heard about the park from another player and decided to check it out. It wasn't a massive conspiracy like the police officer thought.

Eventually we did convince him that we lacked the ability to fix his Pokemon problem and he let us go back to our car.

I never thought a silly video game would put me in danger of getting arrested. How embarrassing. You'd think that as a law student, I would know better but it honestly never occurred to me that some parks in our city close while others do not. When I thought about the dangers of Pokemon Go, I thought of stupid people walking into traffic or trying to drive and play a video game at the same time. I also worried about people trespassing on private property to catch the next big pokemon. None of which I do. I didn't think about how hundreds of young people heading outside to play this game would look to people who don't play the game. Though, to be fair, I don't think anyone, including Nintendo, expected the popularity of the game to soar so high.

We live in crazy times my friend, crazy times.


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