Oklahoma lawmaker seeks to deter 'knockout game'

An Oklahoma lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would increase criminal penalties for anyone who participates in a brutal new national fad called the “knockout game.”
by Randy Ellis Published: November 27, 2013
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A state lawmaker plans to introduce legislation that would increase criminal penalties for anyone who participates in a brutal new national fad called the “knockout game.”

In the “knockout game,” an assailant picks out some unsuspecting victim on the street and attempts to knock out the person with one punch, while a buddy records the assault on video.

State Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, said the game is gaining in popularity across the nation, although he knows of no cases in Oklahoma.

“The whole purpose of the bill is to knock it out before it gets here,” Cleveland said.

Cleveland said his proposed legislation would ensure that any minor charged with unprovoked battery is tried as an adult and would increase the penalty to a minimum 10 years in prison.

Nationally, at least two fatalities have resulted from the fad, Cleveland said.

“These kids are attacking people unprovoked in an attempt to knock them out,” Cleveland said. “They are doing it just for fun. They have been attacking men, women and the elderly. I think we need to send a message that this kind of violence is unacceptable in Oklahoma and will get you into serious trouble.”

Oklahoma City police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said local police are not aware of any “knockout game” assaults occurring in the city, but they have fielded “a million telephone calls” inquiring about the existence of such assaults since news reports of the fad began surfacing.

Capt. Dexter Nelson said the department receives hundreds of reports of assaults every month and it would be impossible to know if any of them were attributable to the game without additional information.

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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