Pokemon Go player claims attack at North Delta park

Teen met stranger online, police say, planned to play virtual reality game

  • Jul. 18, 2016 7:00 a.m.

A teenager who arranged to play the virtual reality game Pokemon Go with a stranger at a North Delta park claims she was sexually assaulted last week.

Delta Police Acting Sgt. Sarah Swallow said the 19-year-old met someone through the chat app Whisper and arranged an 11:30 p.m. meeting last Wednesday at Annieville Park, at 92 Avenue and 112 Street. But instead of catching Pokemon together, the teen alleges the stranger made sexual advances towards her.

The teen bolted and called police, who later went to the park and arrested a 31-year-old man from New Westminster. He has been released from custody after promising to appear in court at a future date.

Investigators are recommending a charge of sexual assault.

A woman who lives the park but did not give her name said she thinks the Pokemon Go craze — where players use their smartphone’s camera and GPS to catch virtual-reality animated creatures hidden in geographic settings — is great exercise for kids, but they need to apply some common sense.

“11:30 p.m. at night with a stranger? It is a dark park,” she said.

Swallow cautioned people when meeting any stranger alone, for any reason.

Delta Police advise the public to:

• meet during daylight hours

• meet at a central or busy location

• notify someone about details about the meeting (location/time/duration) and who they are meeting

“We also ask that any incident you are concerned about be reported to police for investigation or follow-up,” Swallow said.

 

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