Unprovoked attacks at heart of ‘Knockout King’
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Matthew Quain still struggles to piece together what happened after a trip to the grocery store nearly turned deadly. He remembers a group of loitering young people, a dimly lit street – then nothing. The next thing he knew he was waking up with blood pouring out of his head.
The 51-year-old pizza kitchen worker’s surreal experience happened just before midnight earlier this year, when he became another victim of what is generally known as “Knockout King” or simply “Knock Out,” a so-called game of unprovoked violence that targets random victims.
Scattered reports of the game have come from around the country including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Chicago. In St. Louis, the game has become almost contagious, with tragic consequences. An elderly immigrant from Vietnam died in an attack last spring.
The rules of the game are as simple as they are brutal. A group – usually young men or even boys as young as 12, and teenage girls in some cases – chooses a lead attacker, then seeks out a victim. Unlike typical gang violence or other street crime, the goal is not revenge, nor is it robbery. The victim is chosen at random, often a person unlikely to put up a fight. Many of the victims have been elderly. Most were alone.
The attacker charges at the victim and begins punching. If the victim goes down, the group usually scatters. If not, others join in, punching and kicking the person, often until he or she is unconscious or at least badly hurt. Sometimes the attacks are captured on cellphone video that is posted on websites.
Read the full story here: The Northern Virginia Daily
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