EXCLUSIVE: Hoboken assault victim tells police he was victim of 'knockout game'
Feb 12, 2014 | 3585 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN – A Manhattan man who was assaulted on Sinatra Drive early Sunday morning told police that he believed he was the victim of the “knockout game,” according to a police report. The game, in which groups of youths suddenly assault a random victim with the goal of rendering him/ unconscious with a single blow, made local headlines late last year when a homeless Hoboken man was killed on Third Street by a group of Jersey City minors whom prosecutors said were playing the game.

On Sunday, the Manhattan man was drinking with friends at a bar on Sinatra Drive when he began walking to the PATH train around 2 a.m., police said. As he was walking, he was struck once on the left side of his face by a man he could only describe as African-American and 5 feet 10 inches tall, said the police report. Another man was with the alleged perpetrator. The victim fell to the ground, and apparently asked his attacker why he had assaulted him, to which the assailant only said, “What are you going to do about it?”

The attacker and his associate then fled north on River Street. The victim said that he had not exchanged any words with the men before the attack took place and that he was not involved in any verbal or physical altercations at the bar, according to the police.

The victim, who arrived at police headquarters with his left eye swollen shut, was transported to Hoboken University Medical Center. The physician on call told police that he believed the man suffered several facial fractures that would require surgery.

Assaults and murders around the country have been linked to the knockout game since 1992, when police said that a Massachusetts Institute of Technology student fell victim to a deadly assault by three Cambridge, Mass. youngsters.

In Hoboken, 46-year-old Ralph Eric Santiago, a homeless man, was killed on Sept. 10 outside during the workday. Three young Jersey City teenagers, ages 13 and 14, are currently in custody after turning themselves a week after the attack on Santiago. They apparently did not know Santiago and took the light rail train back to Jersey City after the attack.

Santiago’s body was found against a fence during evening rush hour on Sept. 10 at Third and Jefferson streets. Law enforcement authorities had obtained various videos that led them to the suspects. One video, they said, showed two people following Santiago, and one jumping out in front of him to knock him out.

It is unclear whether any surveillance cameras in the area may have recorded the attack on Sunday. – Dean DeChiaro

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