Man robbed, assaulted, shot while playing Pokemon Go in Columbus park

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A man was hit in the head and shot three times after someone stole his phone while playing Pokemon Go in a a North Linden neighborhood park.

According to Columbus police, it happened Tuesday night around 9:40 in Linden Park.

Gregory Wheeler

Investigators said Gregory Wheeler and Samantha Haub were playing Pokemon Go near the park when a juvenile rode his bike up to the pair and asked to use their phone to call his mother. Police said the juvenile then fled with the phone.

“He fled on his bike and I ran after him,” Wheeler explained.

“They basically said the phone that they had taken, which is my friend’s phone, was theirs now and that I needed to, basically, leave,” he said. “So, I put my hands up and started to walk away.”

Police said he was hit in the head by another person. Wheeler said one of the attackers yelled, “get the gun.”

He ran to the other side of the street, asking for help, but was turned away.

“I proceeded on to the next residence, I believe as I was climbing up the steps on to the porch, I heard shots ring out. One of them struck me in the right foot.”

Two other bullets entered and exited both of Wheeler’s thighs.

Police arrested a 14-year-old boy about two hours later and recovered a handgun. Police said the boy admitted to shooting Wheeler.

Wheeler said he is grateful for the officers’ quick work.

“I really hope that he gets another chance…maybe realizes that this isn’t the life he wants to lead.”

Investigators say they are looking for a second suspect. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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