Members of the Los Gatos Police Department have said that all suspects involved in a series of recent 'knock-out' attacks will be arrested and thrown in jail.
The most recent assaults took place at an area strip mall, and officers believe the assailants targeted their victims as part of the nationwide "Knock Out Game". But that game, according to officers, is anything but.
Police say the attackers prey on unsuspecting victims. These predatory men, and sometimes women, simply walk up to them and sock them in the face or upside the head. The ultimate goal, they say, is to render the victim unconscious. They're not robbed, and the beating does not continue. Once the knock out is achieved the suspect simply walks off like nothing has happened.
Los Gatos PD officers said that last weekend a woman was walking outside a shopping center at about 4:30 p.m. At that point, a man approached her out of nowhere and delivered a solid blow to her head. Witnesses say she fell to the ground almost immediately, and the attack seems to have been unprovoked.
The victim was treated by first responders for non-life threatening injuries.
Sucker punching someone for personal amusement is not a game, say police, and these types of assaults can and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Investigators say this type of crime is not unique to northern California.
Multiple victims in Denver, Colorado say they were attacked without provocation on New Years Eve. An elderly man was also sucker punched in the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter in mid-November. In New York City, two Brooklyn men were arrested and charged with knock-out attacks earlier this week. All in all the "Knock Out Game" has become a nationwide epidemic- and everyone is at risk.
Authorities are still trying to determine whether the attacks qualify as a hate crime. Prosecutors have said that if they can add a federal and state hate crime enhancement they definitely will.
Witnesses reportedly described the Los Gatos strip mall suspect as being approximately 5 foot 6 inches tall and African American. Anyone who believes they have further information on the attack are asked to place an anonymous tip.