Police Officers Fired for Ignoring Robbery Call to Hunt Monsters in Pokemon Go

Two LAPD police officers ended up losing their jobs after ignoring calls about a robbery so they could drive around hunting pokemon in the augmented reality mobile game Pokemon Go.

Last week, California’s court of appeals upheld a previous decision according to which officers Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell were rightfully terminated from the Los Angeles Police Department almost five years ago. Court documents showed that in April 2017 the two men were driving in their patrol car and discussing Pokemon Go, when they were asked to respond to a robbery in progress with “multiple suspects” at a Macy’s in southwest LA. The officers chose to ignore the call, with Mitchell reportedly saying ‘Aw, screw it,’ choosing to hunt for a nearby pokemon called a Snorlax instead.

Photo: Unsplash/Matt Popovich

The video system in the two officers’ car revealed that Michell managed to capture the Snorlax before the pair drove to another location where the Togetic pokemon had been spotted. Both Lozano and Mitchell managed to capture Togetic.

“After Mitchell apparently caught the Snorlax – exclaiming, ‘Got ’em’ – petitioners agreed to ‘go get the Togetic’ and drove off,” the court heard. “When their car stopped again, the [digital in-car video system] recorded Mitchell saying, ‘Don’t run away. Don’t run away,’ while Lozano described how he ‘buried it and ultra-balled’ the Togetic before announcing, ‘Got him.'”

“Mitchell advised he was ‘[s]till trying to catch it,’ adding, ‘Holy crap, man. This thing is fighting the crap out of me.’ Eventually, Mitchell exclaimed, ‘Holy Crap. Finally,’ apparently in reference to capturing the Togetic.”

“The […] guys are going to be so jealous,” the video system recorded Mitchell saying.

Louis Lozano and Eric Mitchell initially denied ignoring the calls about a nearby robbery, claiming that they hadn’t heard them. However, their patrol supervisor, Sergeant Jose Gomez, wasn’t convinced and checked their car’s DICVS video system. Imagine the shocked expression on his face when he realized the two were hunting virtual pokemon instead of doing their job.

Eventually, the pair admitted to having left the area to hunt Pokemon Go because of a ‘social media event’. They were charged with six counts of on-duty misconduct, including failing to respond to a robbery-in-progress call, playing Pokemon Go while on patrol, and lying during the investigation.


Lozano and Mitchell were fired from the LAPD in 2017, but appealed the decision, arguing that their car’s recordings were private and could not be used against them in court. However, California’s court of appeals recently upheld the original decisions, which reportedly left the two former officers “disappointed”.

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