No longer are kids gathering at the park playing stickball or even just playing video games in their room. A new physical and violent game is emerging among the youth called "Pick 'em Out and Knock 'em Down."
Imagine this: a group of young people as young as 12 years old pick out a person minding his or her business and then proceed to assault the person without any motive at all. Following the beat down, a recorded video is uploaded to YouTube and other social networking websites.
If you think this is just a criminal conducting a heinous act, you may be surprised to find out that this is a game growing in popularity called "Pick 'em Out and Knock 'em Down,” also known as “Knockout King.”
The latest incident happened earlier this month when three teenagers were accused of killing a 62-year-old father of 12 in Chicago. Allegedly, the group stole $60 from the victim’s wallet. Only minutes later, the group was also accused of stealing $1 from a 64-year-old man.
The accused videotaped themselves attacking the man, identified as Delfino Mora, but they were soon caught after one of the suspects, Malik Jones, 16, posted the cellphone video on his Facebook page.
Other alleged culprits involved in the vicious assault are 17-year-old Nicholas Ayala and 18-year-old Anthony Malcolm. Prosecutors are seeking first-degree murder charges for the three men, who, according to the prosecutors, vacated the vicinity “laughing about victimizing the old man.”
It is unknown as to when and where the game originated. Unfortunately for many unsuspecting people, this isn’t an isolated incident. There were similar episodes reported in Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri and New Jersey.
Late last year, Matthew Quain, a 51-year-old pizza kitchen employee in St. Louis, went out for a trip to the local grocery store after celebrating the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. He only remembers young people and a dark street, but when he woke up after a vicious beating he had blood pouring out of his head and mouth.
“I got around to the library, and the next thing I remember is waking up on the corner with the mayor [Francis Slay] standing next to me. I tried to say 'hi' but my jaw was broken,” explained Quain.
The Associated Press reported that the city has had about 10 of these incidents (at the time of the report) in the past 15 months.
Authorities do not have specific number of cases relating to this game.
River Front Times published an in-depth piece on the game and spoke with a 14-year-old, who spoke about being introduced to the violent game during middle school. Using the pseudonym Jason, he explained that one must “always hit ‘em hard” because “if you don’t hit ‘em hard, they don’t go far.”
Knockout King was relatively unknown in St. Louis at the time of an assault on a 72-year-old retired schoolteacher last year. Following media scrutiny and notoriety, youth not only in St. Louis but elsewhere started to take part in it. The news has made it as far as Great Britain as the Daily Mail picked up Quain’s story in December.
“It was just a little game," stated Jason. "We used to walk to where a lot of people be at and hit 'em. If one of the homeboys didn't knock him out, then the other would come. Whoever [knocks] him out would be king."
Akin to the street drug “bath salts,” which has gained incredible news coverage because of the recent cases involving Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), Pick 'em Out and Knock 'em Down may be the next rising act among the rebellious youth in the United States and even Canada or the United Kingdom.