Fugitive: Dangerous Game of Cat and Mouse or a Phantom Menace?

Filed under: In The News, Teen Culture


The game Fugitive has the potential for disaster, according to law enforcement. Credit: Getty Images

Police are concerned about a potentially dangerous game where teenagers chase each other in a high-speed version of cops and robbers.

Well, maybe not that concerned.

"I've never heard of this game before," Sgt. Pete Simpson, a spokesman for the Portland, Ore., police bureau, tells ParentDish.

KATU, the ABC affiliate in Portland, reports the game of Fugitive is a growing trend that has law enforcement on the alert. Willamette Week, a Portland newspaper, picked up the story.

But it's news to him, Simpson says, after ParentDish read him the Willamette Week story over the phone.

"It sounds a little harmless, but if people are actually chasing each other that way, it's more extreme than just playing hide-and-seek in the park," he tells ParentDish.

There was an incident in Sammamish, Wash., where, KATU reports, a 16-year-old girl received minor injuries while playing Fugitive.

"It's no big deal," Sgt. John Urquhart, a spokesman for the King County Sheriff's Office in Washington, tells ParentDish. "The first time I heard about this game was when the press called me."

The girl apparently drove her car into a tree and fence while being chased Dec. 7, Urquhart says, but she was not seriously injured.

"This game has the potential for disaster," he tells ParentDish. "We're not happy about it, but it hasn't been a major problem so far."

Willamette Week reports a game of Fugitive can involve up to 150 plays. The player designated the fugitive sets out on foot and tries to reach a destination. The other players try to catch him.

The newspaper adds that police say its common for teens to jump out of moving vehicles while playing the game. If so, Simpson and Urquhart tell ParentDish, they've never heard about it. The only place they've seen such reports is in the media, they say.

Facebook has numerous pages devoted to Fugitive, many of them centered on the Pacific Northwest.

Issaquah, Wash., student Mickey Koho tells KATU he knows several teenagers who play Fugitive.

"A lot of people talk about it after they play," Koho says. "They're like, 'Oh, I'm playing Fugitive tonight. Do you want to join?' "

Adults don't have a clue, he adds.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.