Recent attack brings renewed attention to ‘Knockout game’

WASHINGTON – A “game” revolving around surprise physical assault is getting new attention after several people were ambushed in D.C.; however, the trend is nothing new, according to a local expert.

Phoebe Connolly says she was hoping for a nice bike ride through Columbia Heights, but instead she was punched in the face by a teenager.

“He just like threw a hook with his left hand, and just got me right in the face,” she says. “And he said ‘wa-pow’ as he hit me in the face.”

Connolly escaped on her bike with a bloody nose.

Also, a 27-year-old woman was punched in the District Thursday night. The victim did not lose consciousness, she told ABC 7.

It’s part of a continued trend known as the “knockout game,” ABC 7 reports. Cases have been reported in New York and New Jersey where the victims did lose consciousness.

Jeffrey Butts of John Jay College of Criminal Justice tells WTOP the “game” is not new to the area.

“I actually had a friend that was hit in D.C., more than 10 years ago, in a Metro station. I think at that point not many people were using the term ‘knockout game,'” said Butts.

Part of the the problem in policing the unprovoked attacks is that they happen quickly, without warning and the perp gets away — fast.

“It’s about thrill seeking and bravado, proving your manhood and your bravery by doing this,” Butts says.

He says some teens will even compete to see who can get the most video views.

Below is a video about the phenomenon:

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.


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