Terrifying ‘knockout’ game assaults spreading

A sick so-called game known as “knockout” — where teens randomly sucker-punch strangers with the goal of knocking them unconscious with a single blow — is catching the attention of law enforcement throughout the nation.

“Knockout” can be fatal. In New Jersey, Ralph Santiago, 46, a homeless man, was walking alone in Hoboken on the night of September 10 when he was suddenly struck from behind, said Hoboken Detective Anthony Caruso.

The blow knocked out Santiago, who had a pre-existing brain injury. He suffered a seizure. The victim’s body struck a nearby fence, with part of the wrought iron fence piercing his body and killing him, Caruso said.

Surveillance video in the area showed three teens running from the scene. Two weeks later, police arrested the juveniles and charged them in connection with the killing. Caruso said the attack was unprovoked.

Authorities have reported similar incidents in New York, Illinois, Missouri and Washington.

One of the latest attacks happened on Friday, when someone was allegedly punched on a street in Brooklyn. Police brought four men in for questioning and arrested 28-year-old Amrit Marajh.

Marajh is charged with aggravated assault as a hate crime, assault as a hate crime and assault in the 3rd degree, police said.

Youth violence expert Chuck Williams blamed the media and parents for what called extreme aggression by America’s youth. Negative attention, he said, is often rewarded.

“That’s America. America loves violence and so do our kids,” Williams said. “We market violence to our children and we wonder why they’re violent. It’s because we are.”

Williams, a professor of psychology and education at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said some young people are desperate for attention. He called it the “Miley Cyrus effect,” where teens will do anything to get noticed, no matter how heinous or unconscionable.

“These kids know the consequences,” he said. “They want to get arrested. They want to get caught, because they want that notoriety. They know they won’t go away forever because they’re kids. It’s a win-win all around for them.”

In New York, police noted seven “knockout” incidents this fall alone. Some of the incidents were allegedly directed specifically at Jewish people and thus classified as hate crimes, said police spokesman Sgt. Brendan Ryan.

“We know that NYPD, and especially the Hate Crime Task Force, are working swiftly to find the alleged perpetrators of these incidents,” said Evan Bernstein, the Anti-Defamation League’s New York regional director, referring to a spate of assaults in parts of Brooklyn.

Rabbi Yaacov Behrman, a resident of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood and executive director of the Jewish Future Alliance, said many of the assault victims are children. Behrman met with black leaders last week to discuss the issue.

“Kids talk, especially on social media. There’s a buzz about this,” said Behrman.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Wednesday deployed additional police officers to Crown Heights, a Brooklyn neighborhood where eight “knockout” attacks have occurred, including an assault on a 78-year-old woman, police said.

Kelly said he is concerned about copycats.

“When you highlight an incident or a type of criminal activity, some people will simply try to copy it,” the commissioner said Friday. “It’s a phenomenon we’ve seen before.”

Republican New York State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco on Wednesday proposed new legislation he’s calling the “Knockout Assault Deterrent Act,” calling for juveniles charged with the random assaults to be tried as adults.

“Violence like this should not be condoned no matter the age of the offender,” Tedisco said in a statement. “Youth should not be an excuse for this kind of behavior.”

At the same time, Detective Brian Sessa said that it “is yet to be determined” whether the alleged assaults in New York were isolated or part of a larger phenomenon.

In Pittsburgh, police spokesperson Diane Richard said reports of the “knockout” game in the area are picking up again after first surfacing last year.

In October 2012, an English teacher was strolling through an alley in Pittsburgh to his parked car, Richard said. The teacher, James Addlespurger, 50, was approached by a group of teens, Richard said.

One of the teens punched Addlespurger in the face. The teacher fell and struck his head on the concrete ground. The assault, like so many others, was caught on video surveillance tape and a 15-year-old was later arrested, Richard said.

Richard warned that people who seem distracted — checking smartphones or listening to music while walking — can appear more vulnerable to the teens behind the assaults.

In New York last week, Jewish and African-American community leaders met in an effort to smooth relations among young people. “Knockout” assaults were a big part of the discussion.

“To go around and harm just anybody on the premise that you want to show your bravado is not to be accepted in our community, in Crown Heights, in Brownsville or anywhere else for that matter,” community activist Tony Herbert told CNN affiliate WCBS. “Keep your hands to yourself. That is stupid.”

16 comments

  • Thomas

    Unfortunately, all the knock-out games appear to be committed by black youths against non-blacks. Just another example of “justice for Trayvon”, I suppose?

    • bonnie

      There has been others not just blacks and I am sick of that card being played, get
      over it and move on. Take time and research others and not sound so dumb minded.

      • Stephen Melton

        Google the following: White Girl Bleed Alot……

        Yea…we researched it…

        Granted…if out of 100 attacks 99 are black on white, then not all blacks are doing it…but if the one isnt reported, then, well, its 100%.

        Oh..and during the research…there were no reports of white on black, white on white, white on hispanic, white on…anything….

  • BB

    this is how a white person determines the difference between a N Word and a black person just so your know. Buy the thugs a basketball.

    • mszoesmith

      I think Al Sharpton has said something last night. Jesse Jackson will never say anything. Barack may not touch it, it will bring Right Winger more ammunition. Left Wingers will scream privately for Obama commenting it.

      One thing for sure, it not going to shop. From interviews of the all the youths, they were all Black. Not one other the community leader show any empathy for the victims or attacks. Some even joke about it.

      Someone going to fight back. Some black Thug will get hurt or killed. Blacks Community will turn it to Racism like Trayvon

  • Ww

    These are gang kids with no respect for others. They are filled with hate so yes, it is a hate crime black on white. These thugs should be tried as adults and punished accordingly. Many frail individuals will die from such an attack, when this happens it termed murder. Some game huh.

  • freefromaddictions

    Punk as@ kids. They think there so tough. What cowards. I like all the comments others have made. I don’t expect Obama will refer to any of the victims as “that could be my son”. When the guy from Australia (?) was attacked and killed, Obama never said “that could be my son”. There are people, not everyone, of every race and ethnic group that are racist.
    that are racist. I’m not saying everyone is racist.

  • Mike Lamb

    Why is truth left out? Why is FOX8 like every other news outlet in OMITTING the truth? Why are you covering up the truth?

    In EVERY case so far, every victim known and every video has reported and shown it was BLACKS who were responsible. There are even comments made by blacks saying it is revenge motivated. (For what exactly we are not told.)

    Several DA’s have already stated this is clearly cases of *Hate Crimes* being committed against non-blacks and specifically against whites.

    Anyone doubts me, just read other stories besides the *LameStream Media*, simply by Googling the phrase, “Knockout Game”.

    But hey, I understand the motivational factors behind the LameStream News Media, they have a whole country that they are trying to help COMMUNIZE.

    It will be very interesting to see if this posts is actually posted and for how long….

    Michael– Deo Vindicabamur

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