stunt is growing in popularity among teenagers. The so-called "knockout game"
involves assaulting people without warning, and it is claiming lives.
The victims of the brutal
game are chosen at random. Defenseless and unsuspecting people are attacked by
groups of teens who have one goal in mind: to knock the victim out with one punch.
"One-hitter quitter," "knock
em' and drop em," "point em' out and knock 'em out" are all names for a
disturbing trend now drawing concern nationwide.
In Pittsburgh, a teacher was punched so hard he collapsed head first into the concrete curb. A man
in Brooklyn was also knocked unconscious. And even women are being attacked.
There have been seven
recent cases in New York City alone. And the game has turned fatal in at least
four documented attacks -- in Syracuse, N.Y.; St. Louis; Chicago; and Hoboken, N.J., site of the latest fatal attack.
Boys -- seen in video from a security camera after the incident -- have been charged with the murder. They are just 13
and 14 years old.
Jeffrey Butts, who specializes
in youth criminal justice at John Jay College, said, "We know from brain
studies that the part of your brain that gets fired up through excitement and
thrill-seeking actually develops more quickly and fires up more quickly than the other part
of your brain, which comes along a few years later and is about judgment and
He says there's no real
pattern to the way the attackers choose their victims, but they are always
alone, and they stand out.
victims are someone who the young people consider to be an 'other,'" Butts explained. "That could
be a racial difference, it could be a religious difference, it could be an age
difference, it just could be a class difference."
Nothing in the so-called "knockout
game," is about a fair fight. So if it's not about toughness, if it's not
about courage, then what is it about?
Butts said, "Teenagers get involved in this game to prove their
manhood and, ironically, what they ultimately end up doing is proving
they're still children."
It's hard to tell how widespread this issue is, special correspondent
John Miller said on "CBS This Morning." "If you look for it in the
statistics, there's no cutout for the knockout game in the numbers;
they're categorized as assaults, so you can't search backwards for them
Miller continued, "And there's another problem, (New York) Police
Commissioner Ray Kelly here said yesterday, 'We're going to be talking
to the Health Department to see if there may be more cases than we're
aware of.' One of the first things you forget when you're knocked out
cold is what it was that knocked you out. If you're in a fight for five
minutes, you might remember: 'I was in a fight, and then I woke up on
"But if you're just walking down the street and
the next thing you know, you're on the sidewalk and you don't know how
you got there, there could be cases that [police are] not aware of. When
I talked to chiefs around the country yesterday, this was just below
their radar, it's just coming up in a few cities."