An Uber driver was livestreaming Pokémon GO this weekend when he said that he saw someone push a dead body out of car. Now the driver has reportedly been fired from Uber and a member of the local police believes it's a hoax. And it only gets weirder from there. AlexRamiGaming, a small-time Youtuber, was streaming the game in Beaumont, Texas on July 9 when he suddenly starts yelling: "Oh my god I just witnessed a fuckin' murder." He then apparently calls 911 all while still streaming live to Youtube and says he's being followed by the same black Chevy Silverado that apparently dumped the body in front of the Trinity United Methodist Church, also in Beaumont.
Granted, a dead body in Beaumont is not unlikely -- the city of 117,000 has one of the highest murder rates in all of Texas. But in a phone call with Gizmodo, Sargent Cody Guedry of the Beaumont Police Department said no body was found at that location and he believes Ramirez's call was a hoax. Guedry said while he appreciates that the game is getting people to be more active, Pokémon GO is, "something we're going to have issues with."
Since witnessing the alleged crime, Ramirez's subscriber count has skyrocketed from around 4000 to over 92,000. He claims to have been fired by Uber after the company learned he had been streaming between picking up passengers. In an update video, Ramirez says that people sent "emails and messages" that caused him to lose his job. His phone screen shows the message Your partner account has not been activated when he tries to log into the Uber app. He says, "This is the only way I support my family and you guys fucked with that."
As a result, YouTube gossip channel DramaAlert reported his firing and set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Ramirez (DramaAlert's audience of 1.4 million subscribers almost certainly has played a pivotal role in Ramirez's newfound popularity). The GoFundMe raised over a third of its $US10,000 ($13,268) goal in a mere 19 hours.
With Pokémon GO becoming the current hot topic, and reports of game-related crimes becoming instantly newsworthy, is it possible Ramirez tried to fake a murder in order to kickstart his career as a streamer? Maybe. Ramirez sounds sincere in both the video of the alleged crime and his update explaining his firing, so it's equally likely that perhaps Ramirez saw something strange and believed it was a dead body, but it simply isn't backed up by evidence.
We've reached out to Ramirez and Uber for clarification on this story and have not heard back.