Teenagers in the United States have found a new and dangerous way to ‘have fun’.
The game called “Knockout” has been the cause of numerous injuries and attacks on bystanders around the country.
This crude game involves walking around neighbourhoods and targeting passersby and proceeding to try to knock them unconscious in a single blow. “Knockout” has mostly been played in the state of New York in areas across Brooklyn.
Although it seems that it began in New York, this game is spreading to other states. Last week, in Washington, D.C, a young woman was attacked by a gang of approximately 8 teenage boys on bicycles. They hit the back of her head and rode off while laughing wildly.
Another attack took place in St. Louis in Pittsburgh where a school teacher was attacked by a teen on his way home from work. He was knocked unconscious, but luckily the crime was caught on a nearby security camera and the criminal was apprehended and detained.
Unfortunately, most of the cases are not resolved with lawful justice. In New Jersey, a man named Ralph Santiago, age 46, was walking through an alleyway in broad daylight when he was attacked. This was caught on camera, but sadly, Mr Santiago was found dead shortly after the crime had taken place.
His body was found with a broken neck and his head forced between two iron fence posts.
A horrifying aspect of these cases is that the majority of teenagers who do carry out these attacks film their crimes and post them online. Many of these videos are now viral on the internet.
One video particular video has been viewed over 500,000 times on YouTube. It shows a gang of teens knocking out a man and films him as he falls to the ground. As the video progresses a young boy comes on screen and explains that the game is played for fun and there is no other purpose behind it. He continues, “Little kids run around and hit people and knock them out. Even though they shouldn’t be doing it, people do it.”
The deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Prevention of Youth Violence believes that violence in popular culture is largely to blame for these crimes. Catherine Bradshaw says, “”This type of aggressive behavior is very troubling. They’re clearly modeling this type of behavior, you get that repeated exposure and you no longer have that empathy for the target.”