2 California men fall off edge of ocean bluff while playing 'Pokemon Go'

The mania surrounding “Pokemon Go” continued Thursday as more users found themselves in precarious situations while playing the augmented reality game.

In North San Diego County, two men fell off a bluff while playing the smartphone game, while farther north in Anaheim, a player was stabbed by group of men in a park recently.

The incidents come as law enforcement agencies across the nation are reporting a plethora of Pokemon-related attacks and odd happenings since the game was released last week.

On Wednesday, firefighters rescued two men who fell several stories off the crumbling sandstone bluff in Encinitas, according to authorities. The men, who were in their early 20s, were playing “Pokemon Go” at the time and likely were led to the cliff when they were trying to catch characters, said Sgt. Rich Eaton of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

One man fell 75 to 100 feet. As firefighters rescued the man, they found the second man unconscious 50 feet down the bluff, said Battalion Chief Robbie Ford of the Encinitas Fire Department. Both were taken to area trauma centers and suffered moderate injuries, he said.

The men, according to firefighters, had crossed a fenced area to get to the bluff. 

“I think people just need to realize this is a game,” Eaton said. “It’s not worth your life. No game is worth your life.”

In Anaheim, a man who was playing the game into the wee hours Wednesday was stabbed multiple times by a group of men at a park, police said.

The victim, who was in his late 20s, was using the app in Schweitzer Park on the 200 block of Bel Air Street, when he encountered the group of men around 12:30 a.m., police said.

Anaheim police Sgt. Luis Correa said five to six men, ranging in age from teens to 20s, attacked the man and stabbed him several times.

A motive for the attack has not been determined, he said.

Correa said detectives don’t think the group lured the man to the park. Instead, they think he happened to run into them there.

The victim was taken to an area hospital, where he was in fair condition with injuries that did not appear life-threatening.

Wednesday’s attack should serve as a reminder to “Pokemon Go” players to pay attention to their surroundings, Correa said.

“Your focus should be on what’s in front of you, so you don’t lose sight of what is happening,” he said.

Law enforcement agencies have warned that the game could leave players vulnerable to criminals.

Just in California, two men were reportedly robbed and carjacked Sunday while playing the game and trying to catch fictional characters at a Sacramento County park.

About 100 miles south, a brother and sister were robbed of their smartphones Sunday while playing “Pokemon Go” in San Francisco.

Two former Marines playing the game in Fullerton on Tuesday helped nab a man who was wanted in connection with attempted murder in Sonoma County. They notified police after they noticed the man was bothering children at a playground.

On Wednesday, two men who had just finished playing “Pokemon Go” were nearly robbed about 2:40 a.m. in Lakewood while walking home, sheriff’s officials said. A tan four-door vehicle pulled up next to them and a man with a gun stepped out and tried to rob them, according to a department press release.

One of the victims fought back against the gunman, who ran back into the car, authorities said. The car’s driver tried to run the men over, but missed, then escaped, officials said.

But in the world of Pokemon, it’s not crime all the time. Some bizarre happenings also have been associated with the game.

In San Luis Obispo County, Dan De Vaul reported that his sober-living facility, Sunny Acres, had been a designated stop in the latest “Pokemon Go” craze. The facility houses released sex offenders, which was a concern for De Vaul because he said his clients can’t be around children.

“I have no idea what Pokemon is,” he said. “I have no idea who put the stop — if it was sabotage — because we don’t want kids showing up here.”

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.


UPDATES:

3:45 p.m.: This article was updated with news of a Pokemon Go-related incident in Lakewood.

11:03 a.m.: This article was updated with comments from Sgt. Rich Eaton of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

This article was originally published at 10:17 a.m.

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