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NYPD’s Bill Bratton says he’d like Pokemon craze to go away

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton, with Mayor Bill

NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton, with Mayor Bill de Blasio last week, said Thursday that when people play "Pokemon Go," they are at risk of being victims of crime or accidents. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Get real millennials!

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton didn’t hide his disdain Thursday over the latest craze, “Pokemon Go,” saying he couldn’t figure out what the heck all the fuss was about.

“I haven’t the faintest interest in that stupid craze,” Bratton told reporters. “I think too many people have been watching the zombie shows on TV. Basically our millennials seem fascinated about making themselves walking zombies looking for Pokemon.”

Yet it may not just be those born after 1980 — generally considered the starting point for millennials — who are obsessed with what is described as an augmented reality game where people go on electronic hunts using their smartphones to catch creatures depicted in the cartoon.

Bratton acknowledged that there were reports of a few cops in the Rockaways seen on social media, possibly engaged in a “Pokemon Go” hunt.

The NYPD department was looking to see if there was any “inappropriate behavior on their part,” Bratton said.

The “Pokemon Go” trend has proved to be not all fun when it comes to the game.

Late Wednesday afternoon, three men armed with a handgun robbed a 19-year-old man in Lake Ronkonkoma of his iPhone as he played the game. Although a police spokeswoman Thursday said there is no indication the victim was lured to the spot by the suspects, the game has a “lure module,” a feature that can draw players to a specific location. Nationwide, there have been reports of players being lured and then robbed.

In the Southern California beach city, Encinitas, just north of San Diego, two men playing “Pokemon Go” fell off an ocean bluff Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. The pair climbed through a fence while playing the game. One man fell about 50 feet down the side of the unstable bluff and the other fell about 90 feet to the beach. They were taken to a hospital with moderate injuries.

As far as Bratton is concerned, don’t expect him to take a shot at “Pokemon Go.”

He seemed irritated that he even had to spend 30 seconds talking about it with reporters. He is more concerned that players were going to make more work for his cops by winding up as crime or accident victims.

“People are putting themselves at great risk being lured in to neighborhoods that they have no knowledge of that neighborhood, being potential victims of crime . . . at same time they are putting themselves at great risk of accidents, etc.”

With Gary Dymski and the Associated Press

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