A New York City man says he was randomly attacked by three black teenagers and is a victim of the vicious Knockout Game trend. The New York Police Department refuses to classify the attack as such, calling the incident an attempted robbery.
Sal Avila says he was leaving a friend’s house and looking down at his phone when three teenagers randomly attacked him.
Avila says “just as they were about to walk past me, one of them moves very suddenly and I feel a very hard impact to my face, as if I got hit by a brick or something.”
The punch broke Avila’s nose and he required surgery to repair the damage.
Witnesses were able to identify one of the suspects, the 16-year-old who punched Avila.
The NYPD charged the teen with attempted robbery but Avila says it was anything but.
“My watch wasn’t taken. My phone, which was in my hand, wasn’t taken. There was no attempt for my pockets that I could see,” he said. “This wasn’t an act to get anything from me. It was simply to do damage, and instill fear.”
The Knockout Game has become a hot button issue after the first few incidents of random attacks against Orthodox Jews were reported in New York. Since then, the trend has been blamed for multiple deaths. Earlier this year, a man in Baton Rouge died after being attacked by two teens. Last year, a homeless man in New Jersey died after he was assaulted by three teens.
Avila says “in a way, I’m glad that it happened to me. I’m glad it didn’t happen to someone elderly who could have died from the blow.”
He adds “I don’t want to be scared anymore. And I don’t want anyone else to be scared. People should feel safe walking around their neighborhood.”