Football Player 'Feared For Life' After Police Mistook Him For A Criminal While Playing 'Pokemon Go'
Faith Ekakitie, an Iowa lineman was mistaken for a criminal while playing the popular Pokemon Go mobile game. He shared his traumatic experience on Facebook.
Ekakitie was reportedly stopped by the Iowa City police in a park on July 27, 2016 while he was playing "Pokemon Go."
The football player described in a Facebook post that about five officers stopped him and four guns were pointed at him. He was mistaken for a criminal who robbed a nearby bank just 10 minutes earlier.
SB Nation cited that initially, Ekakitie, 23, did not respond to the officers' command to stop, since he was wearing headphones while playing "Pokemon Go" and was approached from behind.
Ekakitie's pockets were checked, his backpack was opened and searched carefully. He was also asked to lift up his shirt as they searched his waistband.
The Pokemon Go player continued that the officers never identified themselves as part of the Iowa police force. He said that he was so scared of the guns pointed at him that he would not dare question the authority of the men and woman.
Ekakitie explained that he normally does not rant on social media, but considering all the "crazy things" that have bene going on in the past weeks, he could not keep quiet about his experience.
The "Pokemon Go" player said that the police encounter while playing had him fear for his life for the first time and he is just thankful to be alive.
He said that he could have been another black victim killed in a misunderstanding and police brutality while merely playing a Pokemon Go game.
ESPN reported that according to Sgt. Jorey Bailey of the Iowa City Police Department, the police stopped the Pokemon Go gamer because he matched the description of the bank robber, who is black and dressed in black clothes.
The police who apprehended him while he was playing "Pokemon Go" were wearing police uniforms and not working undercover.
The "Pokemon Go" mobile game has players moving to various locations to search for virtual characters that may pop out on their mobile devices. The "Pokemon Go" game has become very popular since its launch earlier in July 2016.
Ekakitie, a Pokemon Go fan, is a 6'3 290-pound senior from Brampton, Ontario who played in 12 football games in the past season. He recorded 13 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery.
More updates and details on "Pokemon Go" incidents are expected soon.