WINONA, Minn. - The Winona City Council passed an ordinance that allows people to play "Pokemon Go" at the city's Veterans Memorial Park, but bans tents and hammocks.
The vote Monday night comes in the wake of numerous complaints of players setting up tents at the park and playing loud music. It also comes on the heels of a YouTube video that shows a confrontation between a veteran and Pokemon players, which has been seen more than a half-million times worldwide.
Bruce Reed is a well-known Winona veteran and chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park committee. In the profanity-laced video, Reed confronts the players and orders them to take down their tents and leave the park.
"It's not a (expletive) campground," Reed shouts. "These are like (expletive) gravestones right there."
Some of the Pokemon players responded with sarcasm.
"Crazy old man," one young man said. "I wouldn't mind getting punched to get these veterans out of here."
Reed said he was charged with disorderly conduct and destruction of property after destroying at least one tent, which is seen in the video.
In an interview with KARE 11, Reed said he was fed up with the players showing "a lack of respect" to the park. Reed said he stopped by earlier in the week more calmly with similar requests for the protesters to avoid playing the game in Veterans Memorial Park, which he describes as sacred ground to veterans in the area.
"Like I say, it’s almost like Arlington," Reed said. "You think Arlington would allow this to happen? No. well it shouldn’t happen here in Winona either. I deal with PTSD, and I guess kind of the light went off in my head, I kind of snapped, I think. Let my emotions carry me. And this is what’s happened."
Despite the vulgar language and bumping a pregnant woman at the park, Reed says his behavior was worth it if it results in the Pokemon players leaving the park.
"I don’t regret it for a minute. I’m glad I did it. I’ve got support. Anyone could have done it. I just happened to be the guy to do it," Reed said.