Ottawa man says he was the victim of vicious 'knockout game' in New York
Published Monday, November 25, 2013 7:16PM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 25, 2013 10:07PM EST
An Ottawa man says he was the victim of a vicious new trend known as the“knockout game.” This sometimes deadly game sees innocent victims violently punched on the street, sometime knocked out cold, without warning or reason.
The disturbing game, usually carried out by a group of people, looks to randomly target innocent people as they walk down city streets and alleyways.
Incidents have been on the rise in the United States, with similar attacks reported in Philadelphia, New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Washington.
In fact, police in the United States have connected a least three deaths to the so-called game.
Many of the attacks are caught on camera and even posted online by the attackers themselves.
There have been no cases of similar “knockout” attacks in Canada, but an Ottawa man says he was recently targeted by a group of men while visiting friends in New York City.
Mike, who has asked that CTV News not identify him, says he was walking on the Lower East Side one night when a group of men walked passed him on the sidewalk and one suddenly slammed him in the face.
"I was briefly knocked out,” he told CTV Ottawa. “More than what happened, I wondered why it happened to me. I’m just lucky I didn't die,” he said.
Ottawa police say they have not yet come across any incidents of the “knockout game” in Canada so far.
“We haven’t had any reports happening here but usually trends that happen in the States tend to move up here,” said Const. Marc Soucy.
Soucy warns that such attacks carry serious consequences and can lead to assault charges and even a charge of manslaughter.
"I don't know why it's called a game because it's very dangerous and against the law,” he said.
New York assemblyman Dov Hikind told ABC that such attacks were absolutely appalling.
“This is just hitting someone, attacking someone that could be my mother or your mother. It’s just scary and crazy,” Hikind told ABC News.
Brad Garrett, a former FBI special agent, told ABC the new trend is largely perpetuated by a mob mentality and seen as something to brag about with friends.
“These kids have effectively dehumanized others. They are being drastically influenced by the group to commit the acts,” he said.
While some of the perpetrators have been arrested by police, cases of the “knockout game” continue to be reported across the United States.
For Mike, the emotional and physical trauma of the attack lingers on.
“I can’t believe people are treating it like a joke. It’s very sad,” he said.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr.