A 2-year-old Arizona boy was found “red faced, sweaty and dirty” outside his home while barefoot and only wearing a diaper after his parents left him alone to play Pokemon Go, authorities say.
Brent Daley, 27, and Brianna Daley, 25, of San Tan Valley, were arrested July 28, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
Their son was placed in the custody of child protective services, the sheriff’s office says.
Pokemon Go is a smartphone game that was released in early July and quickly became popular. The free “augmented reality” game is location based, using the GPS in the player’s phone to locate and capture virtual creatures called Pokemon. Players can also battle other people.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Boy Was Locked Out of Their Home in 96 Degree Weather With No Water, Police Say
The 2-year-old boy was left outside of the San Tan Valley, Arizona, home of Brent and Brianna Daley in 96 degree weather with no water for at least 90 minutes, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
Deputies were called to the Daleys’ East Payton Street home by a neighbor about 10:30 p.m. on July 28, the sheriff’s office said. The neighbor told them nobody was at the house and the “child appeared to have been abandoned.”
Arriving deputies said they found the boy “screaming and crying attempting to get into the residence. The child was barefoot with only a diaper and a T-shirt on. The child was red faced, sweaty and dirty.”
2. Deputies Say Brent Daley Said ‘Whatever’ & Hung Up When They Called to Tell Him They Found the Boy
The deputies said the house was unlocked and they went inside to try to find any adults. They found three dogs, but no people, inside the home, according to the sheriff’s office.
They looked around the home and “confirmed by family pictures that they child lived at the residence.”
The deputies said they then found a phone number they believed belonged to the boy’s father and called it. They said Brent Daley and answered and said, “whatever,” when told that they had found the boy abandonded.
The sheriff’s office said Daley then hung up on the deputies.
3. The Couple Told Police They Had Been Driving Around Town Playing Pokemon Go
The deputies waited at the Daleys’ home for almost an hour, the sheriff’s office said in the press release.
When Brent and Brianna Daley arrived at the house, they confirmed that they were the boy’s parents. They told the deputies they “left the boy sleeping while they went out to get gas in their car.”
After the parents were taken into custody, they changed their story.
“The couple admitted they were away for the residence for up to 90 minutes playing the Pokemon Go smartphone game,” Sheriff Paul Babeu said. “They said they were driving around San Tan Valley, stopping at parks and other places to interact with the game.”
4. They Were Booked Into the County Jail on Felony Charges of Child Neglect & Endangerment
Brianna and Brent Daley were booked into the county jail on charges of child neglect and endangerment, both felonies, the sheriff’s office said.
They are no longer listed in the county jail’s website.
It is not clear if the couple has hired an attorney, and they could not be reached for comment Monday.
5. The Sheriff Says They Have Been Warning People about Personal Safety While Playing Pokemon Go, But This ‘Goes Beyond Comprehension’
Several crimes, including numerous robberies and burglaries, have been reported involving Pokemon Go, along with other bizarre stories, including multiple players finding dead bodies while looking for Pokemon in public places. You can read about those stories here. In Baltimore, police had to remind drivers not to play the game while driving after a man slammed his SUV into a parked police car in an incident caught on video.
But this latest Pokemon Go-related crime shocked the sheriff.
“Leaving a 2 year old child alone for 90 min to play Pokemon Go…really? I wonder if they found any Pikachu’s in my jail?,” Sheriff Paul Babeu, wrote on Facebook.
“Our agency and many other law enforcement agencies have been warning about personal safety while playing this interactive smartphone game, but we never would have imagined that parents would abandon a child to play Pokemon Go. This goes beyond comprehension,” Babeu said.