What to Know
- A man was robbed as he live streamed a game of Pokemon Go he was playing near Central Park early Sunday morning, according to reports
- The man was walking near the park when a robber came up behind him and knocked him to the ground before stealing his phones, video shows
- Reddit users who were watching the Twitch stream contacted police but the robber was able to get away
A man was violently robbed while playing Pokemon Go near Central Park early Sunday morning, a horrific ordeal that played out on a live stream he was broadcasting at the time, according to reports.
Rickey Yaneza, 43, confirmed to NBC New York that he was live streaming the game on Twitch when he was robbed by a man who is apparently still on the loose.
Yaneza was walking near Central Park South and Sixth Avenue shortly after midnight on Sunday morning when he was attacked from behind, Gothamist reported, crediting police.
He was holding three cell phones at the time. At least one of the phones recorded not only the moment Yaneza was punched and forced to the ground but also the face of his alleged assailant who tells him repeatedly to “take it off.”
Yaneza can be heard saying “no, no, no” and “please” in the video before the alleged robber takes off with the phones. Yaneza’s Twitch account was still streaming after the robbery and video appears to show the robber’s body and legs as he runs away in a hurry. He eventually disabled the phones and the stream was lost.
Twitch is a video game-centric streaming service. Yaneza was streaming Pokemon Go under his “Rickybot” handle at the time of the robbery. Reddit users were watching the stream live online, and Gothamist says one user posted “I was already on the phone with the 22nd precinct in NYC before the phones stopped broadcasting.”
Police interviewed Yaneza, who was then taken to a hospital for injuries to his head and jaw.
Yaneza has a heavy online presence and is the founder of Rickey.org, an entertainment news and video site.
He took to Twitter on Monday morning to give updates about the attack to his followers.
“Scan on jaw was negative, so just swollen for a few days,” he posted. “Bump on head was from hitting the pavement and blood was from scratch on elbow.”
Yaneza also posted that he’d “need to drink everything via straw now.”
His attacker is still apparently on the loose.
The robbery isn't the first time Pokemon Go led to a headline-grabbing event in Central Park. A rare Pokemon caused a stampede in the park back in July. The stampede was caught on video that shows hundreds of players storming through traffic as they try to catch Vaporeon.