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Pokémon Go Game Results in Dangerous Encounter

A 23-year-old University of Iowa football player took to Facebook to share how playing Pokémon Go nearly cost him his life.

Faith Ekakitie, a defensive end for the school’s athletic program, described in detail an encounter he had with police as he played the popular game in an Iowa City park last week.

“Today was the first time I’ve truly feared my life,” the 23-year-old senior wrote Wednesday on Facebook.

Ekakitie, who is 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds wrote that he was “happy to be alive” after five police officers stopped him and pointed four guns in his direction. They said he “fit the description” of a man who had just robbed a bank.

“Today I was surrounded and searched by approximately five Iowa City Police Officers,” Ekakitie wrote. “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.”

“From the police officers’ point of view, all they knew was that a bank had just been robbed less than ten minutes ago,” he continues. “The suspect was a large Black male, wearing all black, with something on top of his head and the suspect is armed. As they drive past an Iowa City park that was less than 3 minutes away from the bank that was just robbed, they notice a large Black man, dressed in all black, with black goggles on his head. They quickly move to action and identify themselves as the Iowa City police and ask me to turn around and place my hands up. I do not comply, they ask again, and again no response from me. So they all draw their guns and begin to slowly approach the suspect.”

Ekakitie says he did not immediately respond to the officers’ demands because he did not hear them. He was wearing headphones and they approached him from behind.

“In this situation, what the media would fail to let people know is that the suspect had his headphones in the entire time the Police Officers approached him initially. The suspect had actually just pulled up to the park because he was playing a newly popular Game called Pokemon Go. The suspect didn’t realize that there were four cops behind him because his music was blaring in his ears. The suspect had reached into his pockets, for something which was his phone, but for all the cops could have known, he was reaching for a gun. The suspect could very well become another statistic on this day.”

Read Ekakitie’s full story here.

Photo: Associated Press Images