Pinellas teacher suspended after arrest for hitting pedestrians while playing Pokemon Go

Barone, 38, is facing two counts of fleeing the scene of a crash involving injury.
Barone, 38, is facing two counts of fleeing the scene of a crash involving injury.

DUNEDIN, Fla. (WFLA) — A Pinellas middle school teacher was arrested and then suspended from his job after deputies say he hit two pedestrians while playing Pokemon Go and then drove away from the scene.

Deputies say  Plato Academy teacher Vincent Barone admitted he was playing Pokemon Go when the crash happened.

Deputies say he was driving on State Road 580 near County Road 1 at 2:20 p.m. on Sunday afternoon when he hit Sherman Puckett and Sheree Dean. Witnesses say he did not stop to help the victims and instead kept driving.

People who live and walk in the area are outraged and are frightened to think that they could have been hit.

“Exactly, exactly and I have young grandchildren and to think of that is absolutely horrifying,” said Leslie Comeau.

“I think that shows such little regard for people’s lives. That person needs to take responsibility and there should be some consequences for that,” said Helen Marston.

Pedestrians are fired up, but parents are standing by and supporting the middle school teacher.

“I’ve known Mr. Barone two and a half years. He’s whole heartedly a good soul. This was an unfortunate accident but he has lots of parents’ support,” said Dina Zervas.

“It was an unfortunate accident, but I don’t think there is any adult out there who could say they haven’t texted or looked at their phone while driving, because we would all be liars,” said Zervas.

Barone was suspended from Plato Academy without pay. The judge also revoked his driving privileges for the time being.

One victim is still in serious condition.

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