Two Los Angeles Police Department officers have lost their appeal and their jobs after they ignored a robbery call in order to catch a Snorlax on Pokemon GO. Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were meant to be responding to a call for “a 211 (robbery) in progress” but decided instead to look for Pokemon characters via the app, a ruling from the California appellate court released this week stated.
The robbery was happning at Macy’s at Crenshaw Plaza. Multiple suspects were said to be involved in the robbery, but instead of trying to stop them, Lozano and Mitchell thought it would be much more enjoyable to catch as many Pokemon as they could.
They were caught pretty much red-handed. Capt. Darnell Davenport was heading to a homicide scene when he heard the robbery call. He could see the Macy’s in question and another police car in an alley nearby with Lozano and Mitchell inside.
They didn’t just fail to respond, they ignored a superior. St. Jose Gomez, who was acting patrol supervisor that day, specifically requested Lozano and Mitchell as backup to the scene when he realized they were nearby. However, he got no response. He questioned them on this later.
Lozano and Mitchell claimed they never heard the call for backup. That’s because they were at a park where there was a lot of noise. Mitchell claimed that it was “really loud in the park” and there was “a lot of music.” Lozano backed him up, adding: “We have no control over the system and all the loud noise, it was loud.”
Gomez wasn’t buying their story. He decided to check the car’s video system recording, which clearly showed the pair playing Pokemon GO for 20 minutes. They heard the call and ignored it, with Lozano quoted in the ruling as saying, “Aw, screw it” when discussing whether or not to respond to the car. After Mitchell caught a nearby Snorlex, Mitchell exclaimed, “Got ’em.” He even claimed that “the guys are going to be so jealous,” evidently referring to his police colleagues.
They tried to lie their way out of the situation. When confronted about the 2017 incident, the men claimed that they weren’t playing Pokemon GO, simply talking about it. However, a court ruled just this week that was simply untrue and upheld the LAPD’s decision to terminate their position, according to CNN.
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