It‚Äôs a disturbing new ‚Äúgame‚ÄĚ, terrorizing residents in East Coast cities, is spreading West and taking over YouTube.
YouTube is full of clips of this so-called ‚ÄúKnockout Game.‚ÄĚ It involves a group of individuals targeting a random person for an unprovoked sucker-punch, seeking to knock the target unconscious in one blow. The trend is mainly growing among bored, clearly misguided, teens.
After a string of seven similar attacks were reported in New York, including several attacks in predominately Jewish neighborhoods, the New York Police Department has gone so far as to start investigating the incidents as hate crimes.
The most recent anti-Semitic attack took place on Sunday when a group of black males allegedly attacked a Jewish resident at Kingston Ave. and Crown St.
‚ÄúThe attack was unprovoked and nothing was stolen,‚ÄĚ said Rabbi Yaacov Behrman.
WPIX reports that the most recent attack was caught on surveillance video this week in New York‚Äôs Crown Heights neighborhood. Ten men spotted a man walking alone, punched him ‚ÄĒ knocking him unconscious ‚ÄĒ and kept on moving.
The second violent confrontation erupted on Nov. 6 when about 15 black youths approached a 12-year-old boy, punched him in the face and shoved him onto the sidewalk.
‚ÄúThe two attackers ran back to the group screaming, ‚ÄėWe got him‚Äô‚ÄĚ and received a roaring cheer,‚ÄĚ Behrman said.
There have been even deadly consequences, in at least three different cases in New York, New Jersey, and St. Louis.
A 27-year-old D.C. woman who fell victim of this ‚Äúgame‚ÄĚ reported to the police. She says just after 10 p.m. on Thursday night, she was walking home along a busy strip of 14th Street in Columbia Heights.
A group of teens on bicycles came up behind her, and one punched her in the back of the head ‚Äď hard ‚Äď before the group took off laughing. The victim escaped serious injuries, but says she wants her neighbors to be warned that it could happen to them ‚Äď even on a crowded street.
Actually there were reports similar attacks in St. Louis and in Pittsburgh, where teacher James Addlespurger was knocked out by 15-year-old he did not know on his walk home from school last month. The teen was charged for the assault, which was caught on a security camera.
‚ÄúThe video speaks for itself,‚ÄĚ Addlespurger¬†told WTAE-TV. ‚ÄúBut I don‚Äôt remember it happening when it happened.‚ÄĚ
Days after the attack on Addlespurger, a WTAE reporter took to the streets, asking unidentified teens to describe the motivation behind the game.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs for the fun of it,‚ÄĚ one teen said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs like when you were a little kid, running around and hitting people. Only now you‚Äôre grown, so you can knock ‚Äôem out. Even though they shouldn‚Äôt be doing it, people do it.‚ÄĚ
One New York man told WPIX he believes it all comes down to finding ways to get teens involved in more enriching activities ‚ÄĒ maybe even after school jobs.
‚ÄúPeople need to do more constructive stuff with their time,‚ÄĚ the man said. ‚ÄúIf people are working and trying to get their money together, they wouldn‚Äôt have time for this nonsense. It‚Äôs crazy.‚ÄĚ