It’s disturbing, random and violent, and it’s been around for decades.
But in 2013 a wave of high profile assaults in North America modeled after the ‘knockout game’ earned considerable mainstream attention.
It involves a person blindsiding a random victim with a spontaneous assault with no warning.
Often, it’s a sucker punch to the side of the head of a random victim on the street.
The assailants sometimes record the incident to post online.
News of several violent assaults in downtown Revelstoke around the Christmas break spread the rumour that a group was engaging in the game here.
The worst injury was a broken jaw that put a young Revelstoke man in the hospital.
After hearing reports of several incidents, the Times Review contacted the Revelstoke RCMP.
When contacted, Revelstoke RCMP spokesperson Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky said the motivation behind five attacks over the holidays isn’t clear.
In an initial interview, Grabinsky speculated that it could be the “knockout game,” but sought further information in police reports from incidents.
In a subsequent interview, he said five assaults occurred in December, but attributing the cause to the assaults was harder to do.
“We don’t really have any recorded incidents which people have reported to the police where we could call it the knockout game, although that is the information that we have been hearing,” Grabinsky said.
“Oftentimes what happens is people do talk in the community about these issues, and the problem … is they don’t come to the police to report it.”
He encouraged anyone who has been the victim of assault to come forward to police with information about the incident so police can investigate it further.
He added that fights at drinking establishments usually have more than one side to the story. What one person reports as an unprovoked assault can turn into a more nuanced situation once both sides of the story are taken into account.
Grabinsky also appealed for witnesses to assaults to provide information to police.
Individuals can provide information anonymously via 1-800-222-8477.