Sunday, November 24, 2013

Yet another reason to be wary this holiday season. "Knockout" is spreading.

Holiday season is a great time of year, but it is also a time where we have to up our game on keeping a wary eye out to prevent becoming a victim. 

Crime is one thing, but be careful that you do not set yourself up to be victim of “knockout.” Morgan Winsor, CNN reports in Terrifying 'knockout' game assaults spreading. For those who may not have heard, this is the crime where teens are randomly sucker-punch strangers with the goal of knocking them unconscious with a single blow – and this sick conduct is beginning to catch on in other area. Similar incidents have been reported in New York, Illinois, Missouri and Washington.

There has been coverage in the Miami Herald, including a recent article by Colleen Long, AP, Attacks around US probed for link to knockout game.  An expert quoted in this article, Jeffrey Butts, a psychologist specializing in juvenile delinquency at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice noted that "It's hard to excuse this behavior, there's no purpose to this,". "When someone runs into a store and demands money, you can sort of understand why they're doing it, desperation, whatever. But just hitting someone for the sheer thrill of seeing if you can knock someone out is just childish."

Childish? Childish is the old prank of having someone kneel behind a friend and you push a victim back over them.  This is a serious crime of violence; make no illusions that this is anything less. At least two deaths have been linked to the game this year and police have seen a recent spike in similar attacks.

The urgency in this article is the holiday time is one where we are more likely to be victimized due to distractions.  Stay safe this holiday season. Being aware of your surroundings appears to be your best defense to guard against any potential crime, from making sure you get your credit card back after use, to fending away pickpockets or bag-grabbers to even this "knockout" threat - criminals always look for the easiest targets.

Warning - the video shows graphic violence.

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