Two Los Angeles police officers were fired after choosing to hunt a Snorlax in Pokemon GO instead of helping stop a robbery at a local mall.
As reported by Vice and in detail in Court documents, Former LAPD officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were on foot patrol on April 15, 2017 when a robbery took place on Macy’s in Crenshaw Mall. Calls went to nearby police to answer and some, like a unit at a crime scene, rushed to the mall.
Lozano and Mitchell, however, initially ignored the call and then answered with a simple “no” when asked again. It turned out that they “deliberately failed to respond to the robbery and tried to hide the fact” by saying they were in a different place than where they actually were.
After hearing the recording in Lozano’s and Mitchell’s police car, the LAPD found that they were playing Pokemon GO on the day of the raid.
“The tape showed that around 6:09 pm (just five minutes after Officer Lozano said he checked in with the news of the robbery call) Officer Mitchell said that ‘Snorlax’ had just ‘shown up’ at. 46th and Leimert ‘”, it says in the court records.” After noticing that’ Leimert is not going to 46th place ‘, Lozano replied,’ Oh, you … [know] what I can do? Ill [go] 11th down and Crenshaw swing up. I know I can get there that way. ‘ Mitchell suggested a different route and then said to Lozano, ‘We have four minutes.’
“For about 20 minutes, the DICVS recorded petitioners discussing Pokémon as they drove to various locations where the virtual creatures appeared to appear on their cell phones. On the way to the Snorlax location, Officer Mitchell notified Officer Lozano that ‘a Togetic has just turned up’ on ‘notice it was'[o]n Crenshaw, south of 50th. ‘ After Mitchell apparently caught the Snorlax – and exclaimed, “I have her” – the petitioners agreed.[g]o fetch the Togetic ‘and drove off. “
After successfully capturing the Togetic after Lozano “buried and ultra-balled” them, they decided to return to a 7-Eleven to end their watch. They later lie about the game, even saying that they “just had a conversation about Pokemon GO” and that they are “catching” [an] image “of the Pokémon in a tracking app.
They were charged and dismissed for multiple misconduct in the service and later tried to appeal their case, saying they were unaware that their conversations were being recorded and that their words should be considered “private”. On January 7, 2022, the court dismissed the appeal.
While that event may have happened in 2017, the release of Pokemon Legends: Arceus will soon take place in 2022 – a new game in the popular franchise that offers another chance for someone to get into trouble while playing when they really don’t should .
To learn more about Snorlax, check out how the origins of this sleepy Pokémon were actually inspired by a real person – veteran Pokémon game designer Kōji Nishino.
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