Police Arrest Texas Man Who Plotted To Purge Pokemon Go Players With Modified Paintball Guns
Cerda made made the following post on his Facebook page earlier this week. He remarked, “I know you stupid people are walking all over the place looking at the phone trying to find the Pokemon”. He commented that his sister was also going to be getting in on the “purge” action. The attack was supposed to occur at an event in the Rio Grande Valley.
Someone reported the status to the Harlingen Police Depart who immediately began a criminal investigation due to the credibility of the threat. The investigation resulted in the issuance of a felony warrant for “Terroristic Threat”. Cerda was arrested by members of the Harlingen Police Department's Organized Crime Unit, US Marshals Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, McAllen Police Department and the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department due to the severity of Cerda’s threat.
This is not Cerda’s first criminal offense. Cerda was incarcerated for two years for sexually assaulting a fourteen year-old girl. He became a registered sex offender January 2014 with the Huntsville Department of Criminal Justice and recently verified this status this past March with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety his status as a sex offender is for a lifetime and he was considered a “moderate” risk. Cerda has not yet been assigned a lawyer and currently awaits trial.
Pokémon GO is the most popular mobile game in U.S. history which seems to have lead to a flurry of criminal activity. Four armed robbers in the St. Louis, Missouri area used the app to target players. It is believed that the robbers added a beacon to a Pokéstop in the game in order to lure young players to parking lots and alleyways. Nearly a dozen victims between the ages of 16 and 18 years old were robbed at gunpoint before the suspects were caught.