Pokémon Go fanatic caught playing in car with 8 phones, Washington troopers say

A serious Pokémaster is on the loose in Washington.

Sergeant Kyle Smith of the Washington State Patrol discovered a driver pulled over on the shoulder of a road playing Pokémon Go on eight phones on Tuesday night, Washington State Patrol spokesman Rick Johnson said in a tweet on Wednesday morning.

The driver was parked near State Route 518 and State Route 99 north of Sea-Tac Airport in Tukwila, according to Patch.

The driver was let off with a warning because he wasn’t seen driving while playing the game, which is a GPS-based mobile app that lets users catch various Pokémon in the virtual game world as users move through the real word.

However, the driver was told he shouldn’t pull over to the shoulder unless he has a legitimate emergency, Johnson said.

“Driver agreed to put phones in back seat and continued his commute with 8 less distractions,” Johnson wrote.

Troopers shared a photo showing the assortment of smartphones afixed to what appears to be a piece of foam, with each device running the game.

Washington State Patrol has warned of the dangers of Pokémon Go before: Back in 2016, “state patrol troopers released a national study ... from the Journal of the American Medical Association that said drivers playing the digital game caused 14 accidents in the U.S. during 10 days” in July of 2016, the Tri-City Herald reported.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.