A new deadly “game” called “Knockout” is crossing the nation, especially among black teenagers, in which they try to punch a randomly-selected person walking by on the street so hard with one blow that knocks them unconscious–but the results have sometime proven fatal.
In the New York area in particular, there also seems to be an anti-Semitic motivation to some of the attacks. One black teen, asked why the players savagely attack their victims, simply said, “For the fun of it.” Another added, “They just want to see if you got enough strength to knock somebody out.”
The attacks, also called “Knock Out King” or “happy slapping,” have occurred from Syracuse to New York City to New Jersey to St. Louis. The list of attacks is frightening, and that only includes the ones that have been made public. Examples include:
- 46-year-old Eric Ralph Santiago of Hoboken, NJ, whose body was found with his neck broken and his head squeezed between iron fence posts. Videotape shows Santiago walking in an alleyway during the day, and one black teenager in a trio punching him hard enough to kill him, causing him to slump into and wedge his neck in a fence.
- In Crown Heights, New York, A 19-year-old Jewish man was crossing the street when brutally punched by a black man who was in a group of roughly ten young black males. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters there have been at least seven attacks on Jews in Crown Heights in the recent weeks.
- Another attack in Crown Heights on November 6 where two black teens reportedly approached a 12-year-old Jewish boy playing baseball in the street and punched him in the head.
- Syracuse, New York: May 23: A 13-year-old teen tried to knock out Michael Daniels on May 23; when that didn’t work, a 15-year-old teen punched Daniels and injured his brain so severely that Daniels died the next day. One perpetrator pled guilty to assault and the other was convicted of second-degree manslaughter. Both were sentenced to 18 months.
- Pittsburgh, 2012; James Addlespurger, a teacher, was allegedly punched by one black teen walking with a group. Addlespurger points to surveillance video of the altercation, saying it “pretty much speaks for itself.”
- Syracuse: 70-year-old Jim Giffords was allegedly punched so hard by Romeo Williams, an eighteen-year-old black male, that he died.
- St. Louis, 2011: an elderly Vietnamese man was murdered by “knockout” by a black man who was 18 years old at the time of his sentencing in May 2013.
- St. Louis: 21-year-old Zack Finkelstein was walking to a bus stop to go meet his grandmother when police say a black man in his 20s or 30s brutally punched him in a random attack.
- St. Louis: A 17-year-old black teenager Edward Townsend allegedly punched a 30-year-old man in the head in an apparent “knockout” attack. Also in St. Louis: a group of teenagers beat a gay man up playing “the knock out game.”