Pokémon Go player assaulted in Central Park while streaming on Twitch - Kogonuso


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Sep 19, 2016

Pokémon Go player assaulted in Central Park while streaming on Twitch

Sam Machkovech
On Sunday night, Pokémon Go player and Twitch game streamer "Rickeybot" turned on his usual livestreaming rig so that he could film himself walking around New York City while playing the popular smartphone game. That session took a dark turn, however, when the player's camera captured someone assaulting and mugging him in Central Park.
Twitch user Rickeybot, seen here walking through Central Park in New York City. Note the man approaching from behind; this was captured about a second before that man appears to assault and mug the <em>Pokémon Go</em> player.
/Pokémon Go player.
Thanks to Pokémon Go's geolocation features, the video makes clear that the mugging specifically happened next to the Sweeny Memorial Bench "Pokestop" at 12:13am Eastern time—right after the victim tried and failed to capture a moderately rated Seaking character in the game, no less. An archival video of the apparent assault shows a man approach Rickeybot from behind and bring him down with what looks either like a chokehold or a punch around his throat. The camera viewpoint falls to the ground at the same time that viewers hear a sound of impact and a moan. The assailant orders his victim to "take it off, let's go," while the streamer pleads, "no, no, no, please, no."
The camera clearly captures the assailant's face for a few seconds, and it reveals a man in his late teens or early 20s wearing what appears to be a camera or flashlight mounted on top of his head. The video also shows the assailant gesturing one hand toward the game player, though it's harder to tell whether that gesture included a weapon of any kind. The rest of the video includes dark, shaky video and sounds of intense breathing in what appears to be proof of the assailant fleeing the scene; meanwhile, the screen-capture feed reveals someone going through the Samsung smartphone's settings to factory-reset the device and delete all of its credentials. All the while, Twitch viewers commented on what they saw, typing responses such as "if you read this you thief, we saw your face, you will be in jail soon."
An apparent assault of a Twitch user while he was streaming himself playing Pokemon Go in Central Park.
A Twitter account for Rickeybot, which had published the same username's Twitch stream, later alleged that he had been "mugged playing Pokémon GO in Central Park. Still talking to police and will go to hospital soon. My jaw is a mess. Thanks all." Based on the smartphone footage, the victim resembles a man named Rickey Yaneza, the founder and editor of pop-culture and gossip site Rickey.org, and that name and site are also linked directly from the aforementioned Twitter account.
The Rickeybot Twitch account is currently "closed due to terms of service violations." A Twitch representative would not answer questions about why it was taken down, telling Ars, "We don't comment on terms of service violations." Meanwhile, Rickeybot's Twitter account alleges that the Twitch account was subjected to a 24-hour ban and would be back soon. He indicated that relevant video had been handed over to authorities and that doctors had not detected major damage to his jaw.
Update: Ars Technica confirmed with the New York Police Department's Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information, that Yaneza reported the assault and theft at 12:19 a.m. on Monday morning. Yaneza was holding a total of three smartphones, the NYPD told Ars, all of which he reported had been stolen by the assailint, and Yaneza "refused medical attention" that had been offered by police on the scene. The police report noted a small lacerations on the side of his head and a swollen cheek. An investigation is ongoing, the NYPD told Ars, and no arrests have been made at this time.
Listing image by LiveStreamFails

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