WINONA, Minn.- A video of a Vietnam War veteran confronting a group of "Pokemon Go" players at Veterans Memorial Park in Winona has nearly 800,000 views as of Monday.
Brandon, who didn’t want KARE 11 to use his last name because he says has received death threats, said he posted the video to show how Bruce Reed, a local veteran, treated the players.
“I have huge respect for veterans,” Brandon said.
But that respect stopped when Reed started yelling at them.
“Veteran or not you don't respect someone that is in your face screaming obscenities at you,” he said.
Brandon said Reed drove by Veterans Memorial Park and harassed players for at least a week. The tent, which Reed stomped on in the video, had been used as shelter from the rain.
“He wants to say that he doesn't want kids or anyone around his area unless they are there to mourn the fallen solider,” Brandon said. “Everyone who has played there has already looked at all the monuments and took time to read all the monuments and read what all happened and stuff…I don't understand why he's so upset,” he continued.
Reed, who chairs the Veterans Memorial Park Committee, wants the players out.
“We don't want them doing anything but honoring the park down there. They can go down there. They can walk down there. They can hold hands together. They can sit on the benches. They can look at the monument but we don't want them playing Pokemon. This is sacred ground for us here in Winona,” Reed told KARE 11.
Brandon said they wouldn't play in the park if they didn’t have to. But the game, which uses GPS and public spaces, forces them too.
The incident prompted the city council to draft a proposal that would ban gaming like "Pokemon Go" in the park.
On Monday night, 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.