EDMONDS — Remember the game cops and robbers as kids? There’s a new version of the game — Fugitive — that’s sweeping the country and it involves teens dressed in black, chasing each other in cars and on foot. The game is also typically played in the dark.
Saturday night, Trevor Hendricks and more than 100 other students from Edmonds-Woodway High School met up to play Fugitive.
“It’s where a bunch of people get together. There are cars who try to abduct you and you have to get from one point to another before they catch you,” Hendricks said.
The goal that night was for the kids on foot to make it from the high school to the ferry dock. The game was cut short around 9 p.m. when a 14-year-old darted across the street at 212th Street SW and 80th Avenue West and was hit by a car.
The boy was one of Hendrick’s friends, a defensive end on the football team who ended up that night with a broken leg and a concussion. He is at Harborview Medical Center and is expected to be released soon.
“Now I feel like it was a stupid idea. It was fun, but now that my good friend is hurt it doesn’t seem worth it,” Hendricks said.
But it could have been worse. In May, an Arizona 17-year-old boy died after falling out of the bed of a truck that was chasing kids in a game of Fugitive.
In the game, participants split into two groups. The team playing the role of “cops” uses their vehicles to “arrest” the fugitives. Their goal is to get to a planned location. Often, the two locations are far apart and players have to dart across traffic.
The game that Hendrick’s and his friends were playing started at Edmonds-Woodway High School and was supposed to end at the Frances Anderson Center. Police said the victim was running diagonally across the street outside of the crosswalk when he was hit.
On top of the danger of running across the street in the dark, Edmonds police say the game has caused concern with residents in the area.
“We had a bunch of folks in a residential area where we’ve had a lot of 911 calls because they could see these people running through their yards dressed in dark clothing. They’re already on edge and they think the worst,” Sgt. Mark Marsh said.
Police said the 50-year-old driver who hit the teen was not impaired and is not facing any charges.
Psychiatrist Michael Yasinski said that games like Fugitive seem to be an attempt by teens to battle boredom.
“It seems like today’s society is boring for kids. Day-to-day life doesn’t seem to cut it for kids,” he said.