An Arizona toddler was left unattended for up to one and a half hours as its parents played the popular cellphone game, “Pokemon Go,” according to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.
On July 28, Brent Daley, 27, and Brianne Daley, 25, left their two-year-old son in their San Tan Valley home as they hunted for virtual pocket monsters in surrounding neighborhoods. At 10:30 p.m., a neighbor encountered the young boy dressed in a T-shirt and a diaper as we was wandering outside and immediately phoned the authorities.
According to the press release, deputies “found the child locked out of his home in 96-degree weather with no water,” and he “was red faced, sweaty, and dirty.”
“Our agency and many other law enforcement agencies have been warning people about public safety while playing this Smartphone interactive game, but we never would have imagined that parents would abandon a child to play Pokemon Go,” said Sheriff Paul Babeu in the release.
“This goes beyond comprehension.”
Deputies entered the home and confirmed via family photos that the child indeed lived at the location. When Brent Daly was contacted by law enforcement and made aware of his son’s abandonment, he allegedly responded with “whatever,” officials said.
Once the pair returned home, they told police they left as their son slept as they went to a nearby gas station.
“The couple admitted they were away from the residence for up to 90 minutes playing the ‘Pokemon Go’ smartphone game. They said they were driving around San Tan Valley, stopping at parks and other places to interact with the game,” said Babeu.
The couple was charged with child neglect and child endangerment. The child is currently in the custody of the state.
“Pokemon Go” was released on July 6 and has become massively popular since. More than 279 million of the video games have been sold worldwide and has shipped 21.5 billion TCG cards to 74 countries—making it one of the most successful entertainment brands in recent history.