Remember, kids, Pokemon GO and road rage don’t mix.
Imagine, if you will, you are playing Pokemon GO. It’s supposed to be a friendly game where friendly players compete in friendly competitions, usually for ownership of Gyms. It’s not quite the PvP trainer battles that were promised in the original announcement trailer let alone in the main Pokemon games, but it’s a decent if functional feature. Anyway, imagine you just completed a hard Gym battle and claimed it as your own. You shouldn’t expect any fanfare, but you also shouldn’t expect a total stranger to walk up to you, accuse you of cheating, and throw a plastic bottle at you. But that’s exactly what happened in Kirkwood, Missouri.
Earlier today, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Robert Matteuzzi, 71, and his son Angelo Matteuzzi, 31, were accosted by a man who accused them of cheating and stealing his Gym right before he threw a bottle of Gatorade into their car. The man, whose name has yet to be released, was clearly in the wrong. No Pokemon GO player is pleased when their gym is claimed by another player, but that’s how the cookie crumbles in the game. He reacted the wrong way to defeat, and normally that would have been the end of this tale, but Robert Matteuzzi decided the best course of action was to track down the unnamed man, throw the bottle back in his face, and start a fight.
According to Kirkwood Police Officer Matthew Waggoner, a bystander recorded this fight. While the video has yet to be released, Waggoner stated it depicts Robert Matteuzzi holding the unnamed man down while Angelo Matteuzzi hit his face. The man received several cuts to the face, a “traumatic” eye injury, and a broken finger. The Matteuzzis are currently being held on $15,000 bail.
While this event is horrific, it serves as a stark reminder that Pokemon GO is only a game.