CLAYTON, Mo. – 75-year-old man and his son were sentenced Friday for an assault over playing Pokémon Go.
The case got national attention after it happened in 2018. But neither man has talked until now.
A jury convicted father-son duo Robert and Angelo Matteuzzi of assaulting a man who was playing Pokémon Go in Kirkwood Park in June.
“My son and I were there on Father’s Day. We had a barbecue and everything, and we went back to play again,” Robert said.
They said an argument broke out with another player over littering, and Angelo made an aggressive move in the virtual Pokémon world.
“I was just taking down his gym for the fun of the game, not to attack nobody,” Angelo said.
The court said the victim, who did not show up to the sentencing hearing, “suffered facial abrasions, a traumatic eye injury, a broken fingertip, and a detached fingernail.”
“I’m worse than the other guy. I had a concussion and broken teeth,” Angelo said.
Judge Richard Stewart told the defendants there was no excuse. He said he saw the video during the trial, telling the Matteuzzis, “There was a substantial period of time while you and your son viciously assaulted someone. You had enough opportunity to leave. The victim was helpless and begging for help, yet the beating continued.”
“We tried to separate ourselves from them and push them off the ledge into the water,” Robert said. “But he took and reached up and grabbed my son and pulled my son in there.”
Angelo said not only did he pay the price in court, but he also said someone who had seen news coverage of the 2018 incident tried to run him over last year. He said that is why he is hobbling.
“He hit me with his car,” Angelo said.
Robert said they no longer play Pokémon Go.
Father and son each got three years’ probation. Dad faces jail time if he violates his probation.
Robert said he would not appear in court again.
“They’ll never see me again,” he said. “They didn’t see me before. This just out of the blue this happened. We didn’t want this to happen.”