Quick. You’re a police officer on the mean streets of Los Angeles, California, charged with acting as the long arm of the law to keep the good people of L.A. safe. While on your beat, you get a word of a robbery going down at the local mall — a chance for you to deliver a little justice on the job. But wait. You also notice a rare Snorlax napping just a few blocks the other way. What do you do?
If you’re former LAPD officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell, you go after the Snorlax. It’s one of the critters you can catch in Pokemon Go, the augmented reality game that lets you catch Pokemon in the world around you. Ideally, you’re doing this stuff when you’re not being called upon to catch bad guys as part of your job, but that’s not the call Lozano and Mitchell made, as court documents later revealed.
It was April of 2017, and Pokemon Go was sweeping the nation. 911 calls started pouring in about a robbery at the Macy’s at Crenshaw Mall. Several units immediately responded, but Lozano and Mitchell first ignored the call altogether and then responded with a blunt “no” when asked again. Here’s the recently revealed court document’s take on what happened next:
“The recording showed that, at approximately 6:09 p.m. (just five minutes after Officer Lozano said “screw it” to checking in with communications about the robbery call), Officer Mitchell alerted Lozano that ‘Snorlax’ ‘just popped up’ at ’46th and Leimert.’ After noting that ‘Leimert doesn’t go all the way to 46th,’ Lozano responded, ‘Oh, you [know] what I can do? I’ll [go] down 11th and swing up on Crenshaw. I know that way I can get to it.’ Mitchell suggested a different route, then told Lozano, ‘We got four minutes.’
Later, when questioned about why they hadn’t responded to the call, the court documents say that Lozano and Mitchell lied, saying they’d been busy somewhere else. Well, that’s not exactly a lie, is it? Granted, their priorities were arguably a little messed up.
They were charged with multiple accounts of on-duty misconduct and are no longer police officers. But, it’s not all bad news for Lozano and Mitchell. Recorded conversations note that they did catch the Snorlax.