ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — Playing the wildly popular “Pokémon Go” game has led to a series of dangerous consequences.
In Anaheim on Wednesday, five or six men stabbed a gamer at Schweitzer Park on Bel Air Street around 12:30 a.m. as the victim hunted for Pokemon, according to Anaheim police Sgt. Luis Correa.READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Demand Still Rising, Experts Predict Decline
The attackers are still on the loose.
“It shouldn’t be so much that you’re too into it that you lose focus of where you are or what you’re being led to,” the sergeant said.
He said the victim suffered non-life-threatening stab wounds, and there was no indication the player was lured to the park.
In Lakewood also Wednesday, a would-be robber targeted two men, pistol-whipping one of them on South Street and Clark Avenue around 2:30 a.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
As the men were chasing virtual pocket monsters on their phones, a sedan, possibly a Chevrolet Impala, pulled alongside them, Deputy Trina Schrader wrote in a news release. A man armed with a handgun got out and demanded the victims’ belongings.
“One of the victims charged at the suspect and began to struggle with the suspect for the firearm,” according to Schrader. “During the struggle, the victim was hit multiple times in the face with the handgun by the suspect,” the deputy said.READ MORE: NFL Announces All-Pro Rosters; Kupp, Donald, Ramsey Make First-Team
The suspect ran back to the car, which tried to run over the victims. They managed to get out of the way.
The beating victim suffered a broken nose and a cut to his lip, Schrader said.
In San Diego County, two men apparently trying to collect Pokémon Go virtual characters on their smartphones walked off a bluff in Encinitas on Wednesday afternoon.
One of the gamers tumbled 90 feet down while other fell about 50 feet down the cliff, Encinitas fire Battalion Chief Robbie Ford said.
“It took a team of firefighter and lifeguards and special equipment to assemble to cliff rescue rope brig. And they ascended down the side of the bluff here and actually had a harness on one of these individuals and bring them back up,” lifeguard Capt. Larry Giles said.
The captain said the gamers cut through a fence to get closer to the edge of the cliff.MORE NEWS: 'Our Hearts Are Heavy:' Sandra Shells, ER Nurse Attacked Near Union Station, Dies From Injuries On Sunday
The Pokemon Go mania has prompted law enforcement officials to issue warnings.
*ATTENTION* Please do not dial 911 or impact fire stations regarding POKEMON GO. 911 is for EMERGENCIES ONLY.
— LACounty Fire PIO (@LACoFDPIO) July 14, 2016
Attention Pokemon Go players…..you may NOT access our jail. Please do not call and inquire. @CovinaPD
— Tim Doonan (@TimDoonanCPD) July 14, 2016
Most some merchants are cashing in on the craze. Lawrence Tai runs Waffles de Liege in Pasadena. “What we can do is we can put down a lure module to make it more frequent that the monsters pop up,” Tai said.
The Pokemons pop up based on a random algorithm. Establishments and players can report inappropriate locations and opt out, but they said it was nearly impossible.
Rev. Tara Little of Throop Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena doesn’t want to opt out. “I love it that this is giving churches a little bit of a new life and seeming relevant and a fun place to come.”