Be safe out there: Saskatoon man warns Pokemon Go players after bear spray attack
'They sprayed us from two feet away, directly at eye level,' says victim
As Pokemon Go brings people out of their homes and into the streets, a Saskatoon man who was bear-sprayed in the face in an attempted robbery on Monday is warning the public to be aware of their surroundings at night.
The incident happened when the man, who asked not to be named to protect his identity from the attackers, was walking in the River Landing area at about 11:30 p.m. CST on Monday night.
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He was with three friends, including two who were playing Pokemon Go, when the group was approached by two men near the Idylwyld Bridge.
Attackers wanted phones
The attackers, who were wearing black hoodies, threatened to use bear spray against the group if they didn't hand over their phones.
"And before we could even say anything, they sprayed us from two feet away, directly at eye level," said the victim.
"As soon as that happened, me and two of my buddies got hit bad."
His group fled in one direction, and they believe the attackers ran the other way.
They reported the incident to Saskatoon Police, who said they did not have any suspects in the case.
Having lived in Saskatoon his whole life, the victim said it was the first time he had experienced a serious crime.
Pokemon crowd grows
Although he said he will not let the incident deter him from visiting River Landing at night, he wanted to warn people to be aware of the crime.
He said Pokemon Go is bringing an increasing number of people to the area at night.
"It's usually pretty, pretty quiet round that time, especially because of Pokemon Go, it's kind of like, picked up a lot, and it's a lot more busier," he said.
His friend, who was also part of the group that were attacked, used social media to spread the word among Pokemon Go players.
Saskatoon Police media spokesperson Alyson Edwards said there were no suspects in the case.
Although reports of robberies against Pokemon Go players have been reported since the game launched, Edwards was not aware of any Pokemon Go-related crimes in Saskatoon.
She said people should take normal safety precautions when playing at night.
"It's like anything else, if you're out, we advise people not to be out alone, stay in well-lit, well-populated areas, make sure somebody knows where you are going and when you can be expected back, watch for suspicious behaviour," she said.
"It really isn't any different than any time we have somebody who, let's say, is assaulted while walking at night."