Reports of insane, dangerous fads among teenagers more often than not turn out to be nothing but bogus, albeit interesting rumors. In recent years, reports of teens licking each other’s eyeballs, or inserting vodka-soaked tampons to get drunk, among others, have been quicklydebunked.
But the latest teen fad appears to be not only sick, dangerous and frightening, but also sadly, true.
The call it the “knockout game” and it consists of nothing more than random, violent assaults on unsuspecting, defenseless strangers. Some of the attacks have been captured on video and distributed online. They are also contained in news reports, like the video from CBS 2 New York, seen below.
A still from one “knockout” video is above. The victim can be seen lying unconscious at the right of the frame.
The deadly trend, which has reportedly already claimed innocent lives in New Jersey, Syracuse, N.Y., and St. Louis, Mo., has now apparently spread to the nation’s capital, where a Washington D.C. woman was struck in the face by a passing teenager as she rode her bicycle, but luckily escaped with only bruises and a bloody nose.
There had been a similar incident the night before in Washington D.C. And last Thursday, a 27-year-old woman also reported being attacked in “knockout game” fashion, but suffered “only” soreness in her head and neck.
The object of the “game” according to one teen interviewed by CBS 2 New York, is to “see if you got enough strength to knock somebody out.” Victims are selected at random, without apparent regard to gender or any other criteria except that they appear unsuspecting and unable to fight back.
Then a teen will try to knock the victim unconscious with a single blow.
In New York, according to reports, some teens were not random in picking their victims, deliberately targeting Jewish people, including a 12-year-old boy. Those attacks could be prosecuted as hate crimes, authorities have said.
The woman in Washington D.C., Phoebe Connolly, described her attack to WJLA TV, saying, “my whole head went flying to the side. It was a hard punch. One kid came from the side and pretty much cut me off. He just like threw a hook with his left hand, and just got me right in the face. And he said 'wa-pow' as he hit me in the face."
Connolly says her job requires her to work with teenagers, but she still does not get the point of the Clockwork Orange-like “game.”
"Are they going to take somebody's money? Are they going to take their cell phone? No, they're just going to knock you out. There's no purpose for it whatsoever," she told the TV station.
SOURCES: WJLA TV, CBS Washington, YouTube, Jewish Forward, Snopes.com (2)