Two Police Officers Fired From LAPD For Ignoring Robbery To Chase Snorlax In Pokémon Go



Two Los Angeles police officers have been fired for ignoring a robbery in progress and instead trying to catch a Snorlax in Pokémon Go, according to court documents published in Vice.

According to the documents, former LAPD officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were fired for “willfully abdicating their duty to assist a commanding officer’s response to a robbery in progress and playing a Pokémon mobile game while on duty.”

Initially the officers denied the accusations. Just one problem with that – there was an audio and video recording of the whole thing…

A later investigation of video and audio evidence showed that Mitchell and Lozano discussed responding to the robbery but decided not to. Moments later, Mitchell and Lozano were recorded saying that a “Snorlax … just popped up .. at 46th and Leimert,” and the two strategized how to best catch the rare, gigantic Pokémon.

“For approximately the next 20 minutes, [the in-car monitoring system] captured [Mitchell and Lozano] discussing Pokémon as they drove to different locations where  the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their mobile phones,” the court documents say.

Here’s some of the transcript, which I think is objectively hilarious (well, unless you’re the victim of the robbery they ignored, I suppose):

After Mitchell apparently caught the Snorlax exclaiming, “Got ’em”-petitioners agreed to “[g]o get the Togetic” and drove off.

When their car stopped again, the DICVS recorded Mitchell saying, “Don’t run away. Don’t run away,” while Lozano described how he “buried it and ultra-balled” the Togetic before announcing, “Got him.

Mitchell advised he was “[s]till trying catch it,” adding, Holy crap, man. This thing is fighting the crap out of me.”

Eventually Mitchell exclaimed, “Holy Crap. Finally,” apparently in reference to capturing the Togetic, and he remarked, “The[ ] guys are going to be so jealous.”

Petitioners then agreed to return to the 7-Eleven (where Sergeant Gomez later met them) to end their watch. On the way, Mitchell remarked, “I got you a new Pokémon today, dude.”

For those who are unfamiliar, here’s a look at the two Pokemon characters captured by Officers Lozano and Mitchell. First up, Snorlax:

And – Togetic:

In the officers’ defence, these two Pokémons are VERY hard to catch. And as anyone who knows anything about Pokémon will tell you – you gotta catch ’em all. Those are simply the rules. So I can understand where these two officers were coming from when they chose to ignore a robbery in progress in order to hunt down these rare Pokémons. However I’m also sympathetic to the idea that I could be a victim of a crime someday and ideally I’d want the cops showing up to help me out rather than chasing an imaginary cartoon dragon.

In court, the two officers eventually admitted to going after the Snorlax because they wanted to “chase this mythical creature.” Both men were fired, then appealed the decision by claiming the LAPD violated their privacy by listening to their conversation, and lost their appeal last Friday.

In related news, it turns out Logan Paul may have spent $3.5 million on fake Pokémon cards. Now that would be embarrassing.



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