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Thousands play new Pokemon Go game, law enforcement warns players about safety risks

Posted at 6:16 PM, Jul 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-11 21:43:51-04

On Monday hundreds of men, women and children were scattered across The Park at River Walk playing the new game called Pokemon Go. 

The game is similar to a scavenger hunt and uses the player's cell phone GPS to make Pokemon appear around them and the goal is to catch them all. 

"While my children are playing on the playground, I'm playing Pokemon Go," said Veronica Cargill. 

Those who have played Pokemon growing up said they were excited about the new game. 

"It's pretty cool just to see like everyone going out and playing Pokemon," said Isaiah Garcia. 

At the park strangers were asking each other which team they were on and joining together to beat other teams. However, as they try to catch them all, sometimes players are unintentionally getting in other people's way. 

"It gets dangerous out here because some people are actually playing -- they're actually too into it and we have to tell them to move out of the way or go around," said Mark Alejandro who was riding his bike through the park trying to catch Pokemon. 

The app itself even warns users to stay alert when playing. Caltrans tweeted Monday reminding drivers to keep their eyes on the road and not on their phones. 

In other places across the country, there have been reports of people committing crimes against Pokemon Go players, but both the Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff's Office said that hasn't happened here. 

BPD reminds users to always pay attention to their surroundings so that they don't accidentally walk into a roadway and so that they don't trespass onto private property. 

BPD also warns users that Bakersfield parks close at 10 p.m. and violators may be given a citation if they're in the park after hours.