Knockout game to blame for Midwood attack?

Anthony Johnson reports on an elderly woman who was randomly punched in the head
November 20, 2013 6:57:08 AM PST
The search is on for a group of teenagers behind a series of random attacks on strangers across Brooklyn, and police believe it is part of a disturbing trend making the rounds online.

It's called the Knockout game, in which innocent people are randomly sucker-punched in the head.

The latest attack, on an elderly woman in Midwood, comes after eight similar attacks on Jewish people in Crown Heights.

Now, that 78-year-old woman is terrified, her daughter told Eyewitness News.

"She was carrying a purse that was in full view and many bags, nothing was taken," the victim's daughter, Rita, said. "This was purely a wanton incident, someone wanted to inflict pain onto someone else, no other purpose."

The incident happened on Saturday, November 9, as the woman walked down her street, but she was too afraid to immediately report the attack. State Assemblyman Dov Hikind convinced her to go to police after authorities released shocking video of a 20-year-old Orthodox Jewish man randomly punched by a group of youngsters in Crown Heights last week.

"Who would do that? Who would attack a 78-year-old woman?" Hikind said. "This is just hitting someone, attacking someone, it could be my mother, your mother. It's just scary and crazy."

The Hate Crimes Taskforce is now looking for suspects in as many as eight similar attacks.

"I don't want this to happen to anyone else," Rita said. "We are all really frightened about walking around. This is a very safe neighborhood, but it happened right here and we're afraid."

It turns out that this not just a local problem.

Last month in Pittsburgh, a group of teens apparently thought it was funny to troll the streets looking for a victim to punch. They settled on a 50-year-old teacher.

In September, a knockout attack turned deadly in Hoboken, and three teenagers are now charged with killing 46-year-old Ralph Santiago.

"There's nothing decent about this," Hikind said. "This is total disregard for human life."

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to any arrests in connection with these incidents.