Officials may ban Pokemon from park after Vietnam vet given citation

Screenshot of the confrontation between Pokemon Go players and a Vietnam war veteran at a veteran memorial park in Minnesota. (YouTube)

City leaders in Winona, Minnesota are considering an ordinance to ban Pokemon Go from their Veterans Memorial Park, following a violent confrontation between a Vietnam vet and some of the game players.

A video that was taken Thursday night, by the Pokemon Go crowd, has been sweeping the internet. Some of the unruly players were disrespectful, burping in the face of Bruce Reed, the Veterans Memorial Park Committee Chairman. Most of the people that were in the park on Thursday were being pretty peaceful, officials said. It was just a few that were causing trouble.

Many of the players were essentially camping out at the park to try to catch their characters. Reed was seen confronting them and yelling obscenities at them, the Winona Post reported.

Reed was an Army medic in the Vietnam War.  He treated wounded soldiers and survived ambushes, but this week received a citation after tearing down one of the tents that belonged to one of the Pokemon players. He was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.

According to the Winona Post, city officials have contacted Nintendo – the creator of the game- to ask if they can remove the Poke stops from the Memorial Park, but so far no response has been given.

The mayor of Winona told Fox News that it doesn’t make sense to create an ordinance if police cannot enforce it.

“How do we know if players aren’t using their phone for other purposes? We don’t know if they’re playing Pokemon Go when they take out their phones in the park.”

The city did put forth a proposal, however, on Monday night that would make it illegal to “use the grounds for recreational activities such as sports, athletics, picnics, or games or gaming (electronic or otherwise).” It would also ban “sleeping, sunbathing, playing music through speakers or instruments, bicycling, skateboarding, and rollerblading.”

Mayor Mark Peterson said there is one good thing that’s come out of this whole ‘Pokemon Go’ controversy. So many people have been coming to the park who never knew about it before. They’re stopping to look at the monuments and read about them… it’s opening up a dialogue.”

(Warning: Video contains strong language)

YouTube video

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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