Hey, new trends are all fun and games — until someone gets hurt. In the case of the so-called "Knockout Game," hurting somebody is precisely the point: the trend, growing in popularity for teens in several cities across America, sees a "player" target and punch an unsuspecting bystander. The goal of the game is to knock the person unconscious with a single punch, and the video is often uploaded to the Web to prove to other knockout participants that you carried out the assault. Suspected "knockout" attacks have been reported in New York, New Jersey, Missouri, and Washington, D.C.
In Brooklyn, N.Y., a 78-year-old woman appeared to be the game's latest victim Wednesday. Even worse, it's hard to tell when the "knockout" assault ends and hate crimes begin: Brooklyn's Jewish community has been subject to a spat of recent "knockout" assaults. In the case of the elderly Brooklyn woman, her daughter told CBS News: "She had her purse, she had bags from department stores... There was not even an attempt to take anything from her. It was just a wanton act to hurt another human being.”
Unfortunately, authorities say that it's difficult to track what incidents are part of the game, and which aren't. In some cases, the blows have been fatal: In September, 46-year-old Ralph Santiago of New Jersey died. During a "knockout," Santiago's head was reportedly slammed into an iron fence, and the attack was filmed on video. The tape was later used to arrest the 13 and 14-year-old perpetrators. In the video, one teen said of the trend: “They just want to see if you got enough strength to knock somebody out.”
“[They do it] for the fun of it,” another explained.