"Knockout Game" Suspect Charged With Hate Crime - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

"Knockout Game" Suspect Charged With Hate Crime

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They are disturbing and even deadly attacks...as vicious as they are seemingly random.

"Only a single blow and they fled after that," says victim Lawrence Hsieh.

In what's become known as the "knockout game," innocent people are being violenty struck, sometimes knocked out cold, without warning or even a reason.

"These kids have effectively dehumanized others. They are being drastically influenced by the group to commit these acts," says Brad Garrett, an ABC News crime and terrorism analyst.

It's a chilling trend being felt across the country, with incidents reported in Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh. Victims have been left injured and stunned, and footage of the attacks has been caught on surveillance camera or sometimes posted online by the attackers themselves.

"This is just hitting someone, attacking someone that could be my mother, your mother, it is just scary and crazy," says New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

On Saturday, the New York City Police Department charged a Brooklyn man with a hate crime after he allegedly punched an Orthodox Jewish man in the face Friday morning. Police say the attack was targeted. The victim says he heard a group of men talking about the knockout game right before the attack.

The dangerous trend has sparked reaction from national leaders, who fear people of certain religions or ethnicities are being targeted.

"No matter who it is, or where it is, we must denounce it," says civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton.

One woman...afraid to show her face after her 78-year-old mother was sucker punched after stepping off her porch in Brooklyn, says, "Someone wanted to conflict pain onto someone else no other purpose."

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