By COLlive reporter
Two incidents which resemble “knockout” attacks occurred in the Crown Heights neighborhood in the past 24 hours, causing concern that the dangerous trend has returned.
On Wednesday night around midnight, three male black teenagers walked by a Jewish male as he was walking on Albany Avenue and Union Street and punched him in the face for unknown reasons.
At approximately 4:00 pm Thursday, a 9-year-old Jewish boy who was riding a bike on the corner of President St. and Troy Avenue was attacked by a group of 4 teenage black males, one of whom struck him in the head. He did not sustain any injuries.
The NYPD is currently investigating both incidents as possible bias crimes. They are also looking into the possibility that the attacks are in fact “knockout” attacks, a spokesperson from the NYPD said.
The crimes seem to indicate an upswing in the brutal “knockout” game in the area, which has been on the rise across the country. The game – in which youths sucker-punch unsuspecting strangers for kicks – has seen black assailants attack a number of Jewish victims, some in the Crown Heights neighborhood in November of 2013.
The attacks prompted great outcry among neighborhood residents, activists and elected officials, who held an event to work on preventing the attacks through education of the local youth.
Deputy Inspector George Fitzgibbon, at the time the new Commanding Officer of the 71st Precinct, had stepped up patrols throughout the neighborhood, especially near schools. A number of arrests were made in connection with the attacks in November and December as well.