I don’t want to boast—not me!—but I do feel pride of ownership with this story:
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.
Youth violence expert Chuck Williams blamed the media and parents for what called extreme aggression by America’s youth.
Really? All “youth”?
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.
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.”
I don’t doubt this will spread to the population at large, but as far as I’ve seen, this is a largely (exclusively?) black-on-white crime.
I’m sorry, did I write “crime”?
I meant game:
A game called “Point-em-out, Knock-em-out” has made its way to Lansing, and it’s exactly how it sounds. The game consists of someone being randomly targeted, then attacked.
The victim was attacked by 17-year-old Marvell Weaver. But Weaver did more than try to knock his victim out, he tried to do it with a taser. Luckily for the victim, the taser didn’t work and he was able to protect himself with his concealed-carry .40 caliber pistol.
“He shoved something into my side. I wasn’t sure what it was. It had some force to it. I wasn’t sure if it was a knife or a gun,” said the victim.
Weaver was shot twice, in the leg and an inch away from his spine. He’s been sentenced to a year in jail for the attack, but he admits he’s getting off easy.
“It was just a lesson learned. I wish I hadn’t played the game at all,” said Weaver.
But Weaver say’s this wasn’t the first time he’d played it. Before he was caught, he and his friends had attacked random people on several occasions.
“Not many, six or seven. It wouldn’t be an every day game, just a certain game to be played on certain days. You don’t even try to rob them or anything. That’s the game,” said Weaver.
Weaver says it’s not gang related, teens are playing it because they’re bored.
How can it be a hate crime if they’re not hateful but bored? They don’t hate at all; there would be sense to these senseless acts if they did. But there are consequences: death, permanent injury, psychological scarring—we’ve seen them all in our reports.
This was the first:
The attack against 50-year-old James Addlespurger on Tito Way — an alley off Liberty Avenue — was captured by surveillance cameras last Thursday afternoon.
“The video speaks for itself, but I don’t remember it happening when it happened,” Addlespurger told Channel 4 Action News anchor Mike Clark.
He showed Clark his injuries, which include two stitches on his lip, a bruise on his face and cuts on his arm.
Addlespurger, who teaches 10th- and 12th-grade English at CAPA, said it’s still tough to breathe because the right side of his body is heavily bruised.
“I look pretty good now compared to how I did look. My face was all puffed up, and I’m thankful that I can walk and talk, and I’m feeling OK, except when I bend over to tie my shoe and the breathing hurts, but I’m hopeful all of that will go away,” said Addlespurger.
I can’t tell if they were bored before, but they sure didn’t seem bored after.