St. Louis Father-Son Pokémon Go Team Catches Assault Convictions

The charges stemmed from a 2018 Pokemon Go game that got out of hand and made national headlines

click to enlarge Robert Matteuzzi, left, and Angelo Matteuzzi.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Robert Matteuzzi, left, and Angelo Matteuzzi.

Yesterday, a St. Louis County jury found a father and son guilty of assault after a game of Pokémon Go got out of hand in Kirkwood Park in 2018.

Robert Matteuzzi, 75, and Angelo Matteuzzi, 33, were on a Pokémon Go team competing in Kirkwood Park when they got into an argument with an individual who, according to the Post-Dispatch, played under the name “Sammy the Bull.” Pokémon Go is a game where players collect virtual assets in different real life locations. The players were on different teams trying to collect the same virtual assets and began arguing.

Angelo got into a scuffle with “Sammy the Bull” and the two men rolled into the park's lake. The elder Matteuzzi, Robert, jumped in after them, according to a statement from the prosecuting attorney's office.

Robert Matteuzzi testified at his trial he had previously worked as a lifeguard. But on that day in the park, he held the victim underwater, in an apparent attempt to drown him.

While his father held the victim underwater, Angelo "punched [the victim] over and over again and smashed the victim's face into the rocks that line the lake wall," said the statement from the prosecuting attorney's office. The victim suffered facial abrasions, an eye injury, a broken finger tip and detached fingernail.

A bystander who filmed the assault testified for the prosecution along with former members of the victims' Pokemon Go team.

When the incident originally happened, it made headlines across the country including in Variety and the Fresno Bee.

The jury's recommended sentence for Robert Matteuzzi was three days in jail and a fine, and only a fine for Angelo.

"Grown men — including a man in his 70s — coming to blows over a childish game they are playing is ridiculous, but there was nothing funny about the injuries sustained by the victim, who could have drowned," said St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell in a statement. "I thank this jury for reminding the Matteuzzis and our community that our parks are for play and relaxation, not violence."

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Ryan Krull

Ryan Krull is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times. Find him on Twitter @ryanwkrull
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