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72-Year-Old Woman Sucker-Punched in East New York, Police Say

By Aidan Gardiner | November 26, 2013 9:20am
 Monday's assault came as the city worried about teens attacking others in a "knockout game."
Monday's assault came as the city worried about teens attacking others in a "knockout game."
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Flickr/Linus Henning

BROOKLYN — A 72-year-old woman was randomly punched in the head in East New York Monday, police said, as the city worried about similar "knockout game"-style attacks that have been reported around Brooklyn.

The woman, whose identity was not released, was walking along Pennsylvania Avenue between Flatlands and Vandalia avenues about noon when a man slugged her without saying a word and ran off, an NYPD spokesman said.

The woman was treated and released from Brookdale Hospital, police said.

The attack came on the heels of similar incidents in the borough including one in Midwood Friday in which a group surrounded a 24-year-old Orthodox man and Amrit Marajh, 28, punched him, according to police and reports.

The 24-year-old told investigators that he heard his assailants mention the "knockout" game and make anti-Semitic remarks, NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

A 78-year-old woman was randomly punched in Midwood on Nov. 9 and the next night a 19-year-old Hasidic man was similarly attacked in Crown Heights, according to police and reports.

The victim in Monday's attack was also Jewish, the New York Post reported.

Local politicians and community leaders have attributed the attacks to the "knockout game," where teens randomly punch people without stealing anything.

It was not clear if Monday's assault was part of the "knockout" attacks, a police spokesman said.

“We have seven incidents, most in Crown Heights," Kelly said at an unrelated press conference earlier on Monday. "We’re trying to determine as to whether or not it’s this supposed 'knockout game.'

“We’re trying to better define if in fact it’s going on. What’s the size of this phenomenon? We’re concerned about it because the public’s concerned about it. We’re trying to gather information on it,” the commissioner added.

Meanwhile, local politicians and Jewish community leaders are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of any of the "knockout" attackers.

"What I’m committed to do as the next Brooklyn DA is to knock out this 'knockout game,' and let these folks know that if they choose to assault someone like a coward from behind the back of their head, they’re going to knock themselves into prison," said incoming Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

With reporting by Trevor Kapp and Sonja Sharp.