QUEENS — A 14-year-old boy, who was arrested in connection with a brutal attack on a Muslim man in Hollis earlier this month, told investigators that he and his friends were playing the "knockout game," police said.
Authorities, who called the incident a possible hate crime, are still looking for two more suspects who remain on the loose.
The victim, 59-year-old Mohamed Rasheed Khan, was leaving the Center for Islamic Studies on Jamaica Avenue at Francis Lewis Boulevard on June 1, around 10:30 p.m. when he was attacked by three young men, the NYPD said.
The suspects knocked him off his bike and started punching him on his face and head. The attackers did not exchange any words with Khan, who was wearing his traditional Islamic attire at the time of the assault, police said.
Khan, an American citizen of Guyanese descent, suffered multiple lacerations to his face as well as a concussion and brain swelling and had to undergo reconstructive surgery at Jamaica Hospital, officials said.
The name of the 14-year-old, who was charged as a juvenile with assault as a hate crime, has not been released because of his age, police said.
The teen told investigators that he and the other suspects were playing the "knockout game," in which attackers try to "knock out" an unsuspecting victim. The incident, however, is still being investigated as a possible hate crime, police said Monday morning.
The teen was arrested after someone recognized him from security camera footage released by the NYPD earlier this month. The teen, who police said lives in the area, has no prior criminal history.
The video, captured about 15 minutes after the attack, showed the suspects hanging out in front of a deli about a block away from the mosque, police said.