‘Pokemon Go’ Brings People Together After A Teen With Autism Got Harassed By Bullies

Features Writer
08.03.16

It’s been weeks since Pokemon Go entered our hearts and lives, and it shows no signs of slowing down. People may roll their eyes and cite numerous stupid things that people have done in their quest to catch ’em all, but there have been some pretty great things to come out of the new game as well. One such incident started out with some heartbreaking bullying, but ended up renewing a little faith in humanity.

Arizona resident Angie Swartout and her autistic son, Ty, were playing Pokemon Go together in Tempe Beach Park when they were approached by two male Arizona State University students, who sprayed the two with barbecue sauce and said “Yeah, we got the [r-word].” The Swartouts were understandably distraught, leading Angie’s daughter, Hope Marie Whitaker, to post on a local Pokemon Go Facebook page to ask others to take a stand against such awful behavior.

“If you see something like this happen, please don’t stand idly by. Even if you can’t do anything about the people that did it, help the family. My poor mother had to wash her and my brother off with a bottle of water. She was humiliated. And for what??? She had no reason to be humiliated, but those 2 ASU students certainly need to be embarrassed by their behavior today.”

However, this post prompted many compassionate neighbors to spring into action, with dozens of people inviting Ty to play Pokemon Go with them at Tempe Beach Park, bringing an outpouring of hugs and gifts with them. Ty was delighted, and his mother was beyond grateful for the kindness of strangers. She told ABC15:

“I’m so grateful. I’m just so grateful because if this wouldn’t have happened, we would still be hiding in our house like a lot of families like ours do. And I just can’t thank everyone enough.”

Did it just get a little dusty in here or is it just me?

(Via The Huffington Post)

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