Published On: Tue, Jul 26th, 2016

College football player playing Pokemon Go held at gunpoint by police

Iowa Hawkeyes Defensive Lineman #56 Faith Ekakitie was walking around the city park while searching for Pokemon to catch through the Pokemon Go mobile app when five city police officers stopped him in his tracks at gunpoint on what proves to be a case of mistaken identity.

Ekakitie wrote a note on social media to share his perspective on the absurd event that just happened to him. In that post, he noted that it was the first and only time he truly feared for his life. “Today I was surrounded and searched by approximately five Iowa City Police Officers. My pockets were checked, my backpack was opened up and searched carefully, and I was asked to lift up my shirt while they searched my waistband. Not once did they identify themselves to me as Iowa City Police officers, but with four gun barrels staring me in the face, I wouldn’t dare question the authority of the men and woman in front of me. This is what happened from my point of view,” he recalled.

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The 23-year-old also cleared things up by explaining the perspective of the police officers. He said that they were actually responding to a bank robbery, intending to apprehend a “large black male, wearing all black, with something on top of his head and is armed.” Coincidentally, he fitted this description and he was in the vicinity. When the police arrived, according to Ekakitie’s narrative, they approached him from the back but he was not able to heed their warnings because he was listening to some music through his headphones. When he reached for his mobile phone inside his pocket, the officers assumed that he was reaching for a handgun and they had to react by brandishing their own handguns.

Nevertheless, the college football player went on the appreciate the work done by the police officers for “handling a sensitive situation very professionally.” In addition, the young man also shared some wisdom at the end of his post. “I would also urge people to be more aware of their surroundings because clearly, I wasn’t,” he said. A piece of advice that all Pokemon Go players must note.

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