The New York Police Department is investigating a series of unprovoked recent beatings as possible hate crimes, as they are increasingly occurring in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods.
According to police, bored teens are playing a game called “Knockout,” the purpose of which is to incapacitate a passing pedestrian with a single punch.
One teen interviewed by WTAE said that “[i]t’s for the fun of it. It’s like when you were a little kid, running around and hitting people. Only now you’re grown, so you can knock ’em out.”
The NYPD is concerned that the game may be spreading beyond the Tri-State area, as reports have surfaced of similarly unprovoked attacks in Pittsburgh and St. Louis in recent weeks.
They suspect that the teens are trading videos of their “knockouts” via social media.
The Pittsburgh attack on James Addlespurger, a local teacher, was caught on security camera. He had been “knocked out” by a 15-year-old who was unknown to him, but who was later caught after boasting of the attack to acquaintances.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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