SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. — Pinal County sheriff’s deputies arrested a couple for allegedly abandoning their 2-year-old son to go out and play Pokémon Go.
Brianna Daley, 25, and Brent Daley, 27, of San Tan Valley, face charges of child endangerment and child neglect.
According to the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, a neighbor found the boy outside his home in the 700 block of East Payton Street Thursday night and called authorities.
Deputies arrived and found the child screaming and crying, attempting to get into the residence. They said the boy was barefoot and wearing only a diaper and a T-shirt. The child was reportedly red-faced, sweaty and dirty.
Deputies found the house unlocked and searched inside for any adults but found that no one was home. They located a phone number for someone they believed was the boy’s dad. When they called and told him his child was found abandoned, he replied, “Whatever,” and hung up on the deputies, according to sheriff’s officials.
The couple showed up at the home while deputies were on scene.
Both parents later admitted they left their son home alone to go play Pokémon Go in nearby neighborhoods, according to Sheriff Paul Babeu.
“They said they were driving around San Tan Valley, stopping at parks and other places to interact with the game,” Babeu said in a news release.
The boy reportedly was left alone for up to 90 minutes.
“Our agency and many other law enforcement agencies have been warning people about personal safety while playing this interactive Smartphone game, but we never would have imagined that parents would abandon a child to play Pokémon Go. This goes beyond comprehension,” Babeu said in the release. “The deputies found the child locked out of his home in 96 degree weather with no water while his parents were gone interacting with their Smartphone game.”