Men playing, broadcasting Pokemon Go online swatted at Springs park

Published: Jul. 25, 2016 at 4:34 PM MDT
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Two men were playing Pokemon Go Monday at a Colorado Springs park when they were swarmed by police.

"The one cop had his rifle on us, and I saw a cop car across the street with a couple cops with rifles on us. I was like, 'Aw, man, please just be good, don't do anything stupid,'" said Kevin Davenport, one of the men involved in the incident.

Davenport, along with Jaryd Lazar, never expected to see police officers while they were playing Pokemon Go. Both men had been livestreaming themselves playing video games for years. Monday was no different.

"We were just walking around [Monument Valley Park]," Lazar said. "I'm hearing on my Twitch channel that somebody is saying to start watching my channel in, like, five minutes. I thought somebody was just gonna come say 'what's up,' like a random viewer."

But it was police who showed up instead.

"We sit down at a bench. ... We see a cop car roll up, cops get out of the car, and take their guns out. I'm like, 'Yo, are they pointing their guns at us?' And yeah, they were. And they said, 'Nope, stop,' so we stopped, put our hands up, told us to back up," Lazar said.

It didn't take long for all involved to realize it was a prank.

"I offered to give [officers] a little information about what was happening because I kind of knew, considering it happens to other streamers all the time but more in their homes. You get someone's address and you swat them. I never thought it would happen in a park," Lazar said.

But that's exactly what happened: somebody phoned in a fake threat and gave the descriptions of Lazar and Davenport. Known as "swatting," it's a practice where suspects call in a fake scare and have police respond.

"The suspect has an AK-47 or an AR. He says he's planted remote bombs in the park and wants to kill cops."
-Police dispatch tape

"We stopped, put our hands up, they told us to back up...I told them what was going on, I told them, 'This is what happens, you can look it up online,'" said Davenport. "They essentially held on to us for a second, talked to us, and let us go.

"It ended up all good. The cops were really nice about it."

"The cops were super cool," Lazar said. "They were really nice about everything once they got all the information and stuff."

The men said through their experience of seeing other gamers "swatted" online, the suspects can be hard to find, but they're hoping police can catch the person responsible.