Long Island man arraigned in multiple 'knockout' assaults

N.J. Burkett reports from Amityville.
December 18, 2013 3:27:55 PM PST
A 20-year-old Long Island man charged in a string of so-called "knockout game" assaults pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday.

"This is nothing but violence for violence sake," said Thomas Spota, the Suffolk County District Attorney.

The Suffolk DA insists the attacks were unprovoked. Wednesday, 20-year-old Darryl Mitchell was charged with eight counts of assault.

"Mitchell's assaults were all on males who were going about their business, with no provocation whatsoever, punched in the face or the head, with the sole intended purpose to try to knock them down and knock them out," Spota said.

"Bam! Right in the top of the temple!" said Darryl Jones, a knockout victim.

Prosecutors say Darryl Jones was one of at least seven people struck at random over the past several months.

Most of the attacks happened in the suspect's own neighborhood. Investigators say another man was attacked on the train platform at the Amityville Railroad Station.

"There is no motive, none whatsoever, other than the thrill of the attack and the thrill of hurting somebody," Spota said.

The DA says the assaults are similar to so-called "Knockout Game" assaults in Brooklyn and elsewhere.

"I don't know who thinks this is fun and games," said the judge, "but we have citizens getting hurt and we need to take these crimes seriously."

Darryl Mitchell pleaded not guilty, and his defense lawyer said prosecutors had gone too far.

"They're calling it 'The Knockout Game' and I know that phrase has a lot of buzz these days, but I don't think that is what this is," said Scott Gross, Mitchell's defense attorney.

And late Wednesday, Mitchell's mother insisted her son had lost his way after a run-in with police three years ago.

"Did you have a sense that he was becoming violent and acting out?" Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett asked.

"No I did not have a sense until the situation happened," Denise Mitchell said.

She said that she had no sense that something like that would ever happen.

If convicted he could face over 20 years in state prison.