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Girl Hit By Car While Playing ‘Pokémon Go,’ One ‘Pokestop’ Is Home To Sex Offenders

TARENTUM, Pa. (AP) — A woman in western Pennsylvania says her 15-year-old daughter was hit by a car while playing the popular new “Pokemon Go” game on her smartphone.

Tracy Nolan tells WPXI-TV the game took her daughter across a busy highway in Tarentum during the evening rush.

She says the girl had just finished playing the game when she was hit Tuesday around 5 p.m. She remains in the hospital Wednesday with an injured collarbone and foot, as well as cuts and bruises.

The car’s driver stopped and held her daughter’s hand until emergency responders arrived.

The “augmented reality” game encourages players to wander in the physical world to find and catch new Pokemon on their screens.

The game’s popularity has created unintended consequences in everyday life, from annoyed property owners dealing with hordes of monster hunters to store owners using the game to attract customers.

Also this week, the Associated Press reported that game-players in Central California have started showing up to a “Pokestop” that, in reality, is a ranch that houses alcoholics and sex offenders.

Sunny Acres, a 72-acre ranch in San Luis Obispo that includes a sober-living facility where 35 people live, KSBY-TV reported Tuesday.

“We have some criminals, we have some alcoholics, we have drug addicts, we have mentally ill, there are some sex offenders, yes,” Sunny Acres founder Dan De Vaul told the station.

De Vaul, 72, told the Los Angeles Times he was upset.

“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.”

If children visit the property, some sex offenders living there might be placed at risk of being sent back to prison for violating conditions of their probation or parole, De Vaul said.

It was not immediately clear how “Pokemon Go” developer Niantic Inc. chooses its locations.

An email seeking comment from the company about the Sunny Acres location was not immediately returned.

Niantic’s support page has an online request form where players can ask for removal of a location. But it is not guaranteed.

De Vaul said his property also has a thrift store, a strawberry stand, a pumpkin patch and a Christmas tree farm and closing the gates to keep out “Pokemon Go” players would deprive him of income. “I don’t know what to do,” he told the Times.

(© 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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