Police officers fired for ignoring robbery to hunt Snorlax in Pokemon Go

Brent Koepp
pokemon go police fired

Two Los Angeles Police Department officers were fired after playing Pokemon Go while on duty. The LAPD agents ignored an active robbery to instead catch a Snorlax in the Niantic mobile title.

Ever since its breakout launch in 2016, millions of players around the world can’t get enough of Pokemon Go. The mix of Game Freak’s monster-catching mechanics and the real world has made the app an addictively fun experience that users can take anywhere.

Two Los Angeles police officers took their dedication to the Nintendo game to the extremes, however, when they played the Niantic mobile title while on duty. The public servants were fired by the LAPD after reportedly ignoring an emergency call to catch Pokemon instead.

Pokemon anime Nurse Jenny screenshot
Two LAPD officers were terminated for playing Pokemon Go while on duty.

LAPD officers fired for playing P0kemon Go during a robbery

The story made its way online after court documents were filed to the California Government website on January 7, 2022. “A board of rights found petitioners guilty on multiple counts of misconduct, based in part on a digital in-car video system (DICVS) recording that captured petitioners willfully abdicating their duty to assist a commanding officer’s response to a robbery in progress and playing a Pokémon mobile phone game while on duty,” the government site detailed.

Twitter user Jake White was the first to report on the story and highlighted several passages from the court pages that almost sound too ridiculous to be real. According to the documents, the two officers could be heard on the radio playing the Nintendo game. “The officer alerted his partner that “Snorlax” “just popped up.” For approximately the next 20 minutes, the DICVS captured petitioners discussing Pokémon as they drove to different locations where the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their mobile phones. On their way to the Snorlax location, the Officer alerted his partner that “a Togetic just popped up.”

The two officers were also recorded describing their struggles trying to catch the Togetic.” The officer was recorded saying “Don’t run away. Don’t run away,” while his partner described how he “buried it and ultra-balled” the Togetic before announcing, “Got him.” The officer then yelled “Holy crap, man. This thing is fighting the crap out of me.” After the two agents finally caught the Gen II ‘mon, they could be heard saying that other officers would be “jealous” of what they caught.

Incredibly the terminated officers claimed they weren’t actually playing Pokemon Go on duty and were instead driving around to just take “pictures” of the Pokemon for friends in their group. When asked why one of them could be heard saying the Togetic was “fighting back”, the agent responded, “in order to take the picture, occasionally, the creature will fight.”

In the court documents, the two former public servants admit that they left their patrol location in search of a Snorlax. Despite their overall defense, the Los Angeles Police Department ended up terminating both employees due to playing the Niantic app while at work during a robbery. You can read the full case here.

About The Author

Brent is a former writer at Dexerto based in the United States, who covered topics such as Pokemon, Gaming, and online Entertainment.

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