A warning to "monster hunters" across the metro Atlanta area: playing "Pokemon Go" in Newnan cemeteries could lead to a fine of up to $1,000 or jail time of up to six months.
Newnan's city council voted Tuesday to pass an ordinance to ban cell phone gaming at city cemeteries. The ordinance language specified that cemeteries are not a place for "recreational type activity... such as internet or cell-phone based gaming or geocaching."
"We don't need people trampling on top of graves and disturbing people who are there," said Councilmember Rhodes Shell, who said the stiffest penalties are for repeat offenders.
City officials told FOX 5 dozens of monster hunters visiting the Oak Hill cemetery trampled over graves and damaged residents' fencing. A city document for a new ordinance also describes concerns that players knocked over headstones and flower arrangements.
Though the majority of city council members voted for the ordinance, one council member remained opposed.
"Singling out Pokemon Go is not the best way to go," said Mayor Pro-Tem Cynthia Jenkins, who hoped to add broader language to the ordinance to address other types of offensive behavior. "It's a knee jerk... We let people walk their dogs, ride their bikes, run- all things that don't have anything to do with visiting," she said.
City officials also sent a request to the developer of Pokemon Go to remove Newnan cemeteries from the app.
Most residents agreed with the council's decision. "Gotta respect the graves," one resident said, but questioned the high amount that could be imposed in a fine.
"I think that's crazy. People should play wherever they want to play," another resident said.