Since the debut of Pokémon Go, there have been a number of crimes committed by people taking advantage of distracted players. Over the weekend, Rickey Yaneza, 43, was allegedly mugged in New York’s Central Park while playing the game. The incident is a bit different from other Go-related incidents in that this one streamed live on Twitch!
Yaneza was live-streaming when the incident allegedly occurred. According to Yaneza, he was sucker-punched, and the three phone devices he was using to stream were stolen by the assailant. Adding a little salt to Yaneza’s wounds, Twitch has suspended his account for violating terms regarding Non-Gaming Content. The suspension will likely be quickly lifted, but it probably doesn’t make Yaneza feel any better about the incident.
Like other Pokémon Go-related incidents, Yaneza’s story should serve as a cautionary tale for other players. The incident occurred after midnight, and the attacker likely took advantage of the fact that it was dark and Yaneza was distracted. While it doesn’t rationalize the alleged assault, Yaneza will likely exercise greater caution when playing in the future. Hopefully other players will do the same.