Weeks after shooting, Augusta Riverwalk packed with Pokémon Go players

Crime News

AUGUSTA (WJBF-TV) — The Augusta Riverwalk seems to be flourishing despite the fact that a shooting happened there more than 3 weeks ago.

That’s because the popular smartphone game, Pokémon Go, is attracting players to the riverfront park.

Adonis Mitnaul is from Aiken, but he spent his Friday morning on the Riverwalk.

“I’m out here catching some Pokémon with a couple of friends. Of course, you have to have the essentials, your phone and a nice bottle of water, keep yourself cool with a nice hat,” Mitnaul said.

Pokémon Go is taking over The Riverwalk.

Adults, teens, kids and families are all searching for the best catch.

“When I came here before, it was really dull and empty, but ever since the release of the game it’s just been a habitat for Pokémon and Pokémon Go players,” Jonathan Francis said.

A lot of trainers are heading out for the beautiful sites and the exercise, but also the rich history.

That’s because the ever-so-important Pokéstops are usually historical landmarks.

“Since I’ve come here from Baltimore, I’ve learned so much, especially about all of the floods that have happened right behind us. I never knew this area was inundated with so much history,” Francis said.

Pokémon trainers on the Riverwalk are already sharing funny stories.

There’s one about a player who rented a boat to find a Pokémon on the Savannah River.

There’s another about a boy who was trying to find one over the Riverwalk ledge and dropped his phone in the water.

Even though there was a shooting on the Riverwalk on July 4th, Pokémon trainers don’t seem to care.

“You just have to know what time to come out. You know what I mean? You can’t be negligent and come out at night,” Mitnaul said.

“These things can happen anywhere. We’re all responsible for our own safety. Me personally, I conceal carry so that doesn’t bother me at all,” Francis said.

With the large groups, comes more trash, but everyone says the Riverwalk is beautiful and attracting more than ever.

“I’ve caught a Pikachu. I’ve caught a few things that I can’t normally catch at home, living in the country. They seem to spawn a lot out here,” Francis said.

The Augusta Commission recently approved a sheriff’s office substation to be built on the Riverwalk for $150,000.

Also, the current penny sales tax package includes $4 million for enhancements to the riverfront park.

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