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Pokémon fan braves stabbing to 'catch 'em all'

Michael Baker just wanted to catch ‘em all.

The 21-year-old Forest Grove man was out playing Pokémon Go, a new massively popular, worldwide, virtual-reality video game that requires players to walk around using their smart phones to scan for virtual monsters to add to their collection.

Baker had started hunting for Pokemon around 1 or 2 p.m. Sunday, July 10, and it was now early Monday morning, July 11. He and a friend were hunting in the dark for the elusive virtual monsters when they spotted a real-life man about 40 feet away near 19th Avenue and Filbert Street.

"Hey, are you playing Pokemon Go?" Baker called to the man. "He was like, 'Yo, what?' I was like 'Pokemon Go.' He turned around and ran at me and he was like, 'You're talking to the wrong person.'"

Baker was so surprised, he said, he didn't even think to run. "All of a sudden I just saw a huge like survival knife," he said. "I tried to do this weird Spartan kick at him...and somehow he knicked my shoulder," he said.

"What gets me is has not anyone told him to not run with knives?"

The man ran off after stabbing Baker.

"Honestly, I don't think he was looking for Pokemon," Baker said after considering for a moment.

Instead of going to the hospital, Baker went to the Plaid Pantry at 19th Avenue and Elm Street to buy some chips and beer, searching for Pokemon along the way.

By the time he got there, he was bleeding through his clothes and the store clerk called 911. It was about 2 a.m. when the call came in, according to Forest Grove Police Capt. Kevin Ellingsburg.

Baker refused to wait for medical help, however, because he knew he wouldn't find many Pokemon standing in the store. "You can catch like one or two in a store but you gotta keep going."

His friend encouraged him to go to the hospital, Baker said. But it was Baker's one day off work for the week and he didn't want to spend it in a hospital, especially since he was unlikely to find any Pokemon there, he said.

Forest Grove patrol officers finally located Baker and called in a medical team from Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, who stitched up his shoulder wound.

Baker gave officers a description of his attacker and then continued his quest to catch more Pokémon.

He finally stopped around 4 or 5 a.m., he said. "I was pretty successful. I got me a Charmander and a Meowth."

In the game, players compete to collect as many as possible of the 150 different virtual monsters — known as Pokémon, or “pocket monsters” — which are scattered everywhere across the entire world, including oceans.