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Cops credit Pokémon Go players with arrest of man wanted for attempted murder

Remember, always pay attention to your surroundings

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Police in Fullerton, Calif. say two men strolling a park playing Pokémon Go helped them catch a man wanted for attempted murder.

Playing Pokémon Go itself isn't literally what put the suspect in custody, Rather, Seth Ortega's game froze as he was playing, and when he looked up he saw something alarming.

Ortega told police that he saw a man carrying a red plastic rose approach a woman and her three children, who quickly ran away. Ortega and his friend, Javier Soch, then watched the man approach another woman and her two children, actually touching one of them on the leg.

At this, Soch and Ortega ran to the man and surrounded him until police, called to the scene by the first mother, arrived and arrested him.

After originally booking the suspect on a charge of child annoyance, police discovered he had an outstanding warrant in Sonoma, Calif. on a charge of attempted murder. Authorities say he will be extradited there to face that charge.

Pokémon Go has made public safety agencies somewhat wary in the week since it launched in the U.S. and became a national pop culture phenomenon. In St. Louis, one suburban police force says a string of armed robberies was carried out by assailants exploiting the game and players' inattentiveness to their surroundings. In others, police have reported minor accidents and misunderstood encounters involving Pokémon Go players wandering about.