2 men arrested after getting into fight over Pokemon Go in first such case here

Two men were arrested for a scuffle that was partially caused by mobile game Pokemon Go. ST PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH

SINGAPORE - Two men have been arrested for affray after they got into a fight over Pokemon GO. This is the first arrest here related to the popular gaming app.

The two are aged 28 and 33.

Police, in a press release on Tuesday (Aug 16), said they received a call about a dispute between a car driver and a pedestrian at the car park entrance of Plaza Singapura on Sunday (Aug 14).

Preliminary investigations revealed that the pedestrian was playing Pokemon GO on his mobile phone while crossing the road. When the car driver sounded his car horn at the pedestrian, a dispute arose and blows were exchanged.

Both men were arrested.

The police noted that there have been reports on social media of people crossing roads without regard for their safety or those of motorists, parking inconsiderately, or generally causing inconvenience to others while allegedly chasing Pokemons.

"In your search to "catch 'em all", please do not endanger your life or personal safety, or cause inconvenience to those around you<' said the police statement.

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There have been reports of crowds gathering at places with PokeStops, such as like Hougang Avenue 10. Some were seen jaywalking or even running across the road without apparent care for oncoming traffic, in their hunt for rare and powerful Pokemons like Snorlax.

There has also been backlash from residents in the Hougang Avenue 10 area, who were irked by late-night gatherings and the rubbish left behind by the hundreds of players.

Police officers have since been spotted patrolling the area frequently at night.

An advisory was also put up earlier on the Hougang NPC's Facebook page. The police said they had been observing groups of players gathering at the vicinity of Neighbourhood 4 and Punggol Park. "As there were instances of public crossing roads (while chasing after Pokemon that appeared in their vicinity) without due regard for their own safety, we urge all to practise road safety i.e. ensure personal safety as well as the safety of other road users too," the post said.

In its statement on Tuesday, the police have the following reminders for Pokemon Go players:

  • Be aware of your personal safety when out looking for Pokemon. You should play in pairs or as a group to ensure your personal safety.
  • Watch where you are walking, be aware of your surroundings and do not walk out onto roads without looking.
  • Do not play the game and drive any vehicle or ride any personal mobility device at the same time. You cannot do both safely.
  • Do not trespass onto restricted areas and private properties. Do not take pictures of restricted areas.
  • Be aware that you are potentially sharing data with others; there could be potential criminals who may seek the opportunity to lure victims to their fake "PokeStops".
  • Educate your children to stranger-danger at "PokeStops".
  • Never reveal your personal information and watch out for fake apps or cheat tools. Cyber criminals can access your personal data to commit fraud or hack into your phone with viruses and malware.

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