‘Pokémon GO’ Smartphone Game App Raises Safety Concerns After It Led Teen To Dead Body In River, Armed Robbery Arrests, And Several Injuries

The Pokémon GO game may be the hottest app of the summer with more than five million downloads just days after its release, but it has recently raised safety concerns after it led a teen to a dead body in a Wyoming river, armed robbery arrests, and several injuries, according to ABC 7 News.

Although the game — which allows players to “travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon” and it gets people moving on their feet — warns its players to be mindful of their surroundings, there have still been several reports on armed robbery arrests and several injuries associated with the Pokémon GO smart-phone game, including the finding of a dead body.

Unlimited XP for ALL Pokemon and unlocks ALL Pokemon????https://t.co/63EjgwyXPs game changer! They will fix soon???? pic.twitter.com/wIl2GZw1ws

— Pokemon Go! (@PokemonCheats_) July 12, 2016

Apparently, while a 19-year-old girl, Shayla Wiggins of Riverton, Wyoming, was playing Pokémon GO in her smart-phone, attempting to catch a water Pokémon, she made a gruesome discovery. The hunt led the teen to a dead body floating face down in the river near the Wyoming Highway 789 Bridge, which immediately sparked safety concerns for the popular game app.

Wiggins stated that she was shaken up after finding the dead body while playing Pokémon GO, but managed to call 911 and report the dead body of a man.

Wyoming police officials have not released the name of the man found floating in the river, but they have stated that it may have been an accidental drowning.

The teen stated that although she was “really scared” after finding the dead body in the river, it isn’t going to stop her from playing one of the most popular smart-phone game app of the summer. She said, “I probably would have never gone down there if it weren’t for this game. But in a way, I’m thankful. I feel like I helped find his body. He could have been there for days.”

Another incident occurred in St. Louis, where a group of teens between the ages of 16 and 18 were arrested on armed robbery charges. Slate reported that the teens used their Pokémon GO app to lure potential victims to a secluded area, where they robbed them at gunpoint.

The O’Fallon, Missouri Police Department released a statement via Facebook, stating that “The way we believe it was used is you can add a beacon to a poke stop to lure more players. Apparently they were using the app to locate people standing around in the middle of a parking lot or whatever other location they were in.”

Injuries have also been reported by Pokémon GO players, who claimed to have hit poles and other objects while playing the popular smart-phone game.

However, despite recent reports, Pokémon GO player, Jacob Burns, told reporters that he will continue to play the game as it beats “sitting at home.”

Burns also added that “people are saying that they have never seen so many people walking around in their town and people are finding new places in their towns that they have never taken a glance at.”

The smart-phone game, Pokémon GO, has become so popular within days after its release that hundreds of residents in Ft. Myers, Florida have come together in a downtown area to play the game.

Jesi Cason, who attended the Ft. Myers event, stated that “you see so many people down here, like all ages, all walks of life. Everybody is playing this game right now.”

However, Cason did warn that it is “always important to look both ways. Don’t ‘Poke’ and get hit by a car. People just have to be careful, take a little personal responsibility. Don’t do it while driving.”

Although safety concerns were raised after the Pokémon GO smart-phone game app reportedly led a teen to a dead body, armed robbery arrests, and several injuries, Lee Count police officials stated that “there has not been any issues related to the game.”

[Image via Getty Images / Drew Angerer]