A couple from Arizona were arrested at the end of last month after they left their 2 year old son at home for an hour and a half while they played Pokémon Go.
Brent Daley, 27, and Brianna Daley, 25, of San Tan Valley, have been charged with child endangerment, according to a statement released by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
The police were alerted after a neighbour spotted the toddler wandering around outside the family’s home, barefoot and wearing only a nappy and a t-shirt. When the authorities arrived the little boy was screaming, crying and attempting to get back into the house, sweating from the Arizona heat and covered in dirt.
Fortunately the door was unlocked, and once the police had gained access they called Mr Daley, who reportedly said “whatever” and hung up the phone.
After the officers had been on the scene for almost an hour, Mr and Mrs Daley arrived home. They initially told the police that they had left their son sleeping while they went to fill their car with petrol, but later admitted they had been out “catching Pokemon”.
The explosively popular augmented reality app encourages users to travel to real world locations in order to collect virtual items and catch the game’s creatures. The Daleys had reportedly been traveling around parks and other local spots playing the game while their son was at home.
“Our agency and many other law enforcement agencies have been warning people about personal safety while playing this interactive Smartphone game but we never could have imagined that parents would abandon a child to play Pokemon Go,” Said Sheriff Paul Babeau, “The deputies found the child locked out of his home in 96 degree weather with no water.”
The Department of Children’s Services have since taken custody of the boy, but there is no word as to when his parents’ trial will take place.