Police urge safety while playing Pokémon Go

Staff Report

Pokémon Go has many people out and about throughout the country, but authorities are reminding people to be safe while searching for Pokémon.

Several people playing the augmented reality mobile game have been stopped in Swanton by police.

“We have observed them during the daylight and nighttime hours,” said Swanton Police Chief Adam Berg. “I personally stopped and spoke to three separate groups last Saturday night while on patrol.”

He added that people playing the game are more likely to be stopped at night and those on private property.

“Officers will be proactive and may approach to speak with anyone that is walking around,” said Berg. “We also want to remind everyone to be mindful of their surroundings and look up, away from their phone when crossing streets.”

There have several reports of accidents related to Pokemon Go, including a man crashing into a police car. A Toledo pair was banned from the Toledo Zoo after jumping the fence after hours to catch Pokémon.

The game was released July 6 and by July 12 became the most active mobile game in the Untied States.

The Wauseon Police Department offered several tips to players, saying they are happy to have them exploring the city but had some reminders. They included:

– Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t walk around with your face buried in your phone. Watch for traffic as you cross streets, and be polite to those who you are passing on the sidewalk.

– Don’t ever play Pokémon Go while driving. Catching a rare Pokémon while behind the wheel could catch you a traffic citation or worse if you get into a traffic crash while throwing your poke ball.

– Be aware of private property. Many people don’t play this game, and would not appreciate you walking across their yard to catch a Pikachu.

– It seems that Poke Stops are appearing at landmarks, churches, post offices etc… Use some common sense when you are stopping at these places. It may look strange, or even suspicious to people who don’t know what you are doing. Especially if you are hanging around businesses after hours. Don’t be surprised if one of our officers stops to investigate your activities.

– Parents: Don’t send your young children out to play this game unsupervised. If you want them to play, go with them. Make it a family event!

The City of Wauseon has a curfew for juveniles. For 16 and 17 year olds, the curfew is 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Persons 15 and younger have a 10 p.m. curfew from Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. curfew on Friday and Saturday. Also city parks are closed at dark. Swanton and other area municipalities have similar rules.

Staff Report