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Prosecutors say the father of the 4-year-old boy rescued by the 'Spider-Man of Paris' was playing Pokémon Go at the time

Business Insider US

  • The father of the four-year-old boy rescued in the viral "Spiderman rescue" video was playing the game "Pokemon Go" at the time, prosecutors allege.
  • The game, which became immensely popular when it released in 2016, uses augmented-reality technology to make it appear as if Pokemon are living in the real world.
  • The father faces two years in prison for his neglect.

The viral "Spiderman rescue" video, in which an immigrant from Mali rescued a four-year-old child dangling from a balcony outside of an apartment in Paris, led many viewers to ask: Where were the parents?

French prosecutors claim the boy's father left his young son at home to go shopping, but instead of coming right back, he decided to play "Pokémon Go," the mobile game that achieved viral fame when it released in 2016. Meanwhile, his son was found dangling from the apartment's balcony by a crowd of Parisian onlookers, prompting a Mali immigrant, Mamoudou Gassama, to scale the side of the building and rescue him. 

The father faces two years in prison for endangering his child, while Gassama has been offered citizenship by President Emmanuel Macron.

"Pokemon Go" utilizes the phone's camera to make it appear as if Pokemon are appearing in the real world (by showing them on-screen). The game was an instant hit and was downloaded over 500 million times before the end of the year, but was also criticized for causing people to stop paying attention to their surroundings, including while driving. The game has since declined in popularity.

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