Washington Post

District police investigating random attacks similar to ‘knockout game’

By Peter Hermann and Victoria St. Martin
Thursday, November 21, 2013

… News media reports show other fatal incidents dating to at least 1992, when a young man was killed in Massachusetts. While the name appears to have stuck through the years, authorities think the crime is seeing a resurgence, possibly driven by the Internet.

Offenders will “probably watch YouTube for weeks and months after an attack and compete with each other to see who gets to the top of the list of page views,” said criminologist Jeffrey Butts, director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. “Now, not only can you tell your friends about it, you can post it on video.” Butts said a friend of his was attacked in a similar way in the late 1990s in a Metro station. “Kids came up behind him, hit him in the head and just took off,” he said. “No property was taken. It was just the thrill of hitting somebody and running away.”

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