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Knockout game worrying police

Texas residents may be concerned to hear about a new and disturbing trend that is spreading throughout the nation and has law enforcement alarmed. Called knockout, the objective of this so-called game is to manage to knock a person out with one blow. At times, this assault is deadly to the victim. In one particular case, a homeless man was struck from behind. Due to a pre-existing brain injury, he suffered a seizure and fell forward into a nearby fence, which impaled and killed him.

Video surveillance footage enabled police to ultimately track down those believed to be responsible for what is thought to be an unprovoked attack. Another recent incident occurred and is thought to have been perpetrated by a 28-year old man when he allegedly punched someone on the street in Brooklyn. He faces a variety of charges, including aggravated assault as a hate crime and assault in the 3rd degree.

A professor of psychology and education at Drexel University believes these attacks may be stemming from what he calls the "Miley Cyrus effect," which is a desperate need for attention. Young people will sometimes choose any method of getting attention, no matter how it is gained. He believes that these individuals are well aware of the consequences of their actions and want to get caught because of the notoriety it brings.

If someone is charged as a result of participating in knockout, even if no one died, being convicted of assault charges can carry severe penalties, including jail time. Individuals who are minors or have no previous record may be in a position to arrange for a plea bargain that limits their penalties to probation and avoids jail time.

Source: CNN, "Police keep close eye on reports of disturbing 'knockout' game", Morgan Winsor, November 24, 2013

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