Pedestrian, motorist arrested in Singapore after ‘Pokemon Go’ affray
SINGAPORE – Two Singaporean men have been arrested after getting into a fight triggered by the hugely popular mobile phone game “Pokemon Go,” local police said Tuesday.
The fight broke out between a motorist and a pedestrian on Sunday at the parking garage entrance of a mall in Singapore’s popular Orchard Road shopping district.
According to a police statement, the pedestrian was playing the augmented reality game on his phone while crossing the street.
The motorist honked his horn at the player, setting off an argument that led to the fight.
Both men were arrested for affray, an offense that carries a jail term of up to a year, a 5,000 Singapore dollar ($3,700) fine or both.
They were the first people to be arrested in the city-state — where fights in public are rare — in connection with the game.
“Pokemon Go” enables users hunt fictional digitized animal characters like the furry yellow Pikachu, which have been scattered around the world, often in unlikely locations.
The game has become a global craze, with crowds of players dashing to locations to try to snag characters.
In the 10 days since it launched in Singapore, the police have issued safety warnings urging pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings and watch out for traffic while playing.
Pictures on local social media show hundreds gathered in Hougang, a suburb popular for catching rare Pokemon characters.
Players have also been seen dashing across roads and holding up a bus while searching for the virtual creatures.
Authorities worldwide are grappling with the explosive popularity of the gaming app, which has caused accidents and prompted bans.