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Teens playing violent and deadly 'Knockout Game'

  • Three New Jersey teens charged with killing homeless man
  • Game involves targeting innocent bystanders with random assaults
  • The game is also known as ‘Knockout King,’ ‘Pick ‘em out and knock ‘em down’

It’s been around for several years, but recent headlines seem to indicate a resurgence of teens playing the “Knockout Game.” It involves a group of people, typically teenaged males, running up to an unsuspecting stranger and trying to knock him or her unconscious with one punch.

It has resulted in at least three reported deaths in the last two years. Last week, two 13-year-olds and a 14-year-old were charged with murdering a New Jersey homeless man in a so-called “knockout.” Earlier this year, a St. Louis man was sentenced to life in prison for the Knockout Game death of a 72-year-old Vietnamese immigrant.

A 2011 editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch likened the game to behavior described in "A Clockwork Orange," the 1962 dystopian novel about the violent exploits of disaffected youth in author Anthony Burgess’ vision of near-future England.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay helped rescue a man who was viciously attacked in a Knockout Game. Slay’s words of advice?

"When you see a group of 12 to 15 youths hanging out, walking together, not really doing anything in particular, you should call the police just so these kids, these thugs out there, know they’re being watched," he told HLN affiliate KMOX

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