‘Knockout’ game is no fun for its victims
Sucker punch attacks being reported
Two similar attacks on women in the District have prompted concern that the Internet-fueled youth violence phenomenon called the “knockout” game has taken hold in the city — but criminologists say the history of such attacks stretch back years and happen less frequently than perceived.
Reports of the incidents, in which attackers randomly target unsuspecting victims and attempt to knock them out with one punch, began to receive widespread media attention after attacks that included a September assault on a 46-year-old New Jersey man who died from his injuries and a 12-year-old boy who was sucker punched by a group of teenagers in Brooklyn this month.
“It’s a very old game,” said John Roman, a fellow at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center. “It has a tendency to flare up and be a trend for a little bit.”
In the District, two women were attacked in separate but similar incidents on Nov. 14 and 15 in the Northwest neighborhood of Columbia Heights. Police have not linked the attacks to the vicious game, with Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump saying the attacks are being investigated as simple assaults and that neither woman was “knocked out.”
In one instance, a 27-year-old woman reported that she was walking home along the 3300 block of 14th Street in Northwest D.C. when a group of juveniles on bicycles swarmed past her and one teenager hit her in the back of the head.
In the other, 32-year-old Phoebe Connolly said she was hit in the face by one boy as she rode her bicycle past a group of teenagers in the 2200 block of 11th Street Northwest.
“He just like threw a hook with his left hand and just got me right in the face,” Ms. Connolly told WJLA-TV. “And he said ‘wa-pow’ as he hit me in the face.”
No arrests have been made in either of the D.C. attacks, making it difficult to determine the motivations for the assaults.
But reports of similar attacks in recent days have streamed in from Philadelphia
for — protecting the right to vote.”
Lisa Wooten, president of the Voter Registrars’ Association of Virginia, said every other county complied with the state order.
But Ms. Wooten, general registrar in the city of Waynesboro, added, “In Chesterfield’s defense, they had new voting equipment, were short-staffed and two new polling places.”
In all, some 38,000 Virginia voters’ names were struck from the rolls before the election.
Fairfax County removed 7,206 of 7,934 names provided by the state, according to local electoral board secretary Brian Schoeneman. In Loudoun County, Mr. Herring’s home, general registrar Judy Brown said she personally wiped off 1,843 of 2,176 names.
Mr. Haake said he “always intended” to clean up Chesterfield’s voting lists, and said he would do so before the end of January — within the 90-day deadline set by True the Vote.
Though the attorney general recount likely will be finished by then, legal wrangling could prolong the process.
“We are sending a message to all local election administrators charged with record maintenance duties in Virginia,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said in a statement. “When an administrator admits his refusal to follow state and federal laws, voter confidence and turnout are severely impacted. Voter rolls must be held above politics.”
The Democratic Party of Virginia sued to block the state election board’s directive to remove ineligible voters, but a U.S. District Court judge rejected the claim.