Austin church sees Pokemon Go as a safety concern

Church sees Pokemon Go as a safety concern (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)
Church sees Pokemon Go as a safety concern (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Since launching, the Pokemon Go game has gathered quite the following, but one local church says they are getting swamped with strangers walking around their parking lot.

“A lot of cars have been coming up and just parking, people getting out and taking pictures,” said church business manager Robert Dugas.

St. Paul Catholic Church says they have even had people walk into the church during mass trying to catch Pokemon. The church says they are a good stop for those playing the game because their church is surrounded by seven “Pokestops.”

“There was a Bulbasaur out here which is pretty rare,” said Pokemon Go player Scott Avant. In just six days Avant reached level 14 and the game has become part of his everyday routine making him a little more active. “I’ve been averaging more than a 5K a day.”

A lot of Avant’s points came from the parking lot of the St. Paul Catholic Church.

Dugas says since Sunday there hasn’t been a moment where he didn’t see a stranger walking or stopping in the middle of the road. “Personally we don’t mind people coming out here and enjoying the property, I wish they would come out and spend some time in prayer. If they were respectful and open to everything else going on, we wouldn’t have a problem,” said Dugas.

The church also has a pre-school, and during the time when children are let out, Dugas says more than a dozen strangers can be seen walking near the children as they are released. “Parents are concerned about the safety of the children after they have been hearing about all the stuff on the news,” said Dugas.

Robert says he hopes he doesn’t have to put up no trespassing signs, but will do so if the game becomes a distraction to the church. “Be respectful to the fact that this is a church, and it’s not a playground that you can just come and go as you wish,” said Dugas.

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