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Circuit Attorney Issues Felony Assualt Charge in Latest Knockout Game Attack

Kevin Killeen
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St. Louis Circuit Court (KMOX/file photo)

St. Louis Circuit Court (KMOX/file photo)

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ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–The latest knockout game attack leaves a 54-year old man bloodied and beaten, and a 17-year old man charged with second-degree assualt.

The victim told police he was approached by a group of about five young people near Nebraska and Osceola around 7 p.m. Sunday.

“And as they asked him for a cigarette, he replied he did not have one, and one of the individuals punched him,” said Chief Warrant Officer Ed Postasko, “He fell to the ground and he was struck several more times by other indivduals involved.”

Postawko says the victim heard his attackers chanting “knock out game, knockout game,” as they beat him.

“It is not a game.  It is a crime.  It is causing innocent victims to be hurt, to end up in hospitals, to end up in serious condition, to end up possibly dead,” Postawko said.

In April, a 72-year old Vietnamese immigrant was killed during an alleged knockout game attack in broad daylight, while walking back from the grocery store with his wife in an alley in south city.  18-year old Elx Levell Murphy is charged with first-degree murder in that attack.

In October, St. Louis Mayor Slay came upon the aftermath of an alleged knockout game attack, calling an ambulence for a 51-year old man who suffered a broken jaw.  Seven juveniles were arrested in that case and Mayor Slay has called for the juvenile court to certify the attacker to stand trial as an adult.

“I think what he was doing was attempted murder,” Slay said of the October attack, “He left that man on the street in a pool of blood to die.”

In that case, no hearing is planned to determine whether any of the seven will be charged as an adult, and the crime they are charged with — assault second degree — is a class C felony, which doesn’t require that a certifcation hearing be held. But the juvenile judge could decide during the trial set for January to certify the alleged puncher as an adult.

In this most recent attack, 17-year old Kwame Thomas faces up to seven years in prison, if convicted.

St. Louis Police have been meeting with teens at area public schools to discourage them from playing the knockout game.  In many instances the attackers have been African American and the victims are non-African American.

In this latest attack, Postawko says both the victim and the suspects are African American.

Copyright KMOX.

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