Six “knockout” style attacks took place in New Haven, Connecticut over two days this past week, according to local police.
The New Haven Independent reported that a group of young men approached five males and a 68 year-old woman at different times on Monday and Tuesday evenings. In all cases, one of the young men in the group faced off with the victim, punched him or her in the face or head, then ran off with the rest of the group, laughing.
One of the victims was medical researcher Lawrence Hsieh, a young man who spoke with the Independent.
Hsieh, who is schooled in Taekwondo, said he did not have time to defend himself when he was walking in New Haven and three young men in hoodies approached him. One in the group, Hsieh said, punched him in the nose, knocking him to the ground, then ran off, laughing with his friends.
“The whole ordeal was over in 30 seconds,” Hsieh said, whose nose is swollen and may be broken as a result. “I’ve never experienced face-to-face violence, where you see the person you are going to violate or who violates you up close,” he added.
All six of the “knockout” attacks were reported to have taken place near the train station, the Church Street South housing project, and Church Street in New Haven, according to Lt. Joe Witkowski.
Witkowski said, in addition to Hsieh, three males–28, 29, and 30 years of age–were struck in the face. A 68 year-old woman was also reportedly struck from behind. The woman fell and hit her head on the pavement.
A final victim was a 31 year-old male who was, once again, punched in the face and then kicked before his assailant and his friends left, laughing.
The “Knockout Game” has been increasingly reported in cities in the United States. It is an unprovoked assault that appears to be motivated by malice, desire for Internet fame, or bigotry. The Independent had no report of the physical description of the attackers or the victims besides their ages. The attacks in other cities have typically been carried out by a group of young black men on a lone white or Asian individual. Hsieh’s photo appears in the original article in the Independent, and he is Asian.
The Independent reported that, in the “Knockout Game,” “random strangers” are attacked.