Last night, a mugger allegedly assaulted and robbed blogger Rickey Yaneza while he was streaming Pokémon Go in Central Park. Consequently, live footage of the attack streamed on his Twitch channel, which is currently suspended.
At 12:30 a.m., Yaneza, 43, was allegedly attacked while running to catch a Snorlax that spawned in Grand Army Plaza, a noted Pokémon hotspot located at the park’s southeast entrance. In video captured from the stream, Yaneza attempts to catch a Seaking when an unidentified assailant throws him to the ground. The assailant punches Yaneza, takes the 3 visible phones comprising his livestream setup and runs north.
“He literally just sucker punched me,” Yaneza said over the phone. “My right jaw is swollen. He clotheslined me with his fist. I hit the ground. I have a bump on my head and a scratch on my elbow.”
Yaneza says he went to the hospital after the incident after two bystanders helped him contact the police. A representative for the New York Police Department confirmed the incident’s occurrence to Kotaku.
On Yaneza’s Twitch stream, viewers in his chat watched the whole thing in surprise and disbelief. Curiously, the assailant wore headgear resembling either a head-mounted camera or a headlight. Yaneza said he suspects that the attacker wore headgear so “he would look like he’s part of the geeks there. He was probably stalking the area knowing people were there playing Pokémon.”
The night of the assault was Yaneza’s ninth day streaming ever. He said that, once he recovers and his Twitch channel is restored, he will begin streaming again.
After footage of the attack went viral on Reddit, Yaneza said he would license it, so he would receive money upon the video’s publication.
“I might as well get something out of this,” he told me.
Update—3:10 PM: Yaneza forwarded us the e-mail Twitch sent him about his suspension, which explains that his account was “subject of a Terms of Service suspension for violating the following category: Non-Gaming Content.”