Homeowners versus Pokémon Go
"I gotta catch them all" not a legal defense against trespassing
The excitement surrounding Pokémon Go is causing problems for some homeowners as players eager to catch Pokemon trespass onto private property. Police in multiple states have issued warnings to Pokémon Go users to stay away from private and public spaces that they don't have permission to access.
Never in my life have I ever thought that I would type the words #PokemonGO into a police report.— Wyoming, MN Police (@wyomingpd) July 12, 2016
The New York Police Department sent out a notice that not only warned users not to trespass onto private property, but also to refrain from playing the game while driving or biking.
An article by Clara Lundh for CNN detailed how one man's home was marked as a Pokémon gym, a place where people can train their creatures. The homeowner, Boon Sheridan, noticed a steady stream of cars blocking his driveway, and people hanging out in his yard, all waving their smart-phones.
Woohoo! I met the owner of my gym. Nice guy. pic.twitter.com/uujdC3JYbA— Boon Sheridan (@boonerang) July 10, 2016
While this man took it in good humor, and even posed for pictures with some people who came to “train” at his gym, not all experiences have turned out like his.
As an article in Quartz explained, "'I was collecting Pokémon' is not a legal defense against a charge of trespass, so be sure that you have permission to enter an area or building."