Posted on August 29, 2022

Brazen ‘Knockout Game’ Back in NYC, Expert Warns

Dean Balsamini, New York Post, August 27, 2022

The “knockout game” was down — but clearly not out.

Four recent, unprovoked sucker-punch attacks across New York City — the latest on a 74-year-old woman — have signaled the return of the insidious “game,” a sicko street challenge where thugs attempt to render an unsuspecting innocent unconscious with a single blow, a law enforcement expert told The Post.

“Knock-out games are back. The attack on New Yorkers is very real. We have to keep our heads on a swivel,” said Michael Alcazar, a retired NYPD detective and an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

“It’s not only the mentally ill who are committing these assaults. There are individuals who are angry, bored and brazen, who know they are not going to be prosecuted.”

At least a dozen of the social-media driven assaults — done for online attention, kicks or gang initiation — plagued the city in 2013.

While the NYPD said it doesn’t track such “knockout”-type assaults specifically, this year there have been closer to 20 “sucker-punch” incidents, media reports show. Among them:

  • Jesus Cortes, 52, was allegedly cold-clocked by a convicted sex offender and left fighting for his life in The Bronx Aug. 12.
  • An attacker randomly socked a 36-year-old man in the head at the Kings Plaza Mall in Brooklyn Aug. 20, knocking the victim out cold.
  • Also, Aug. 20, Miller Giovanni Medina Vargas was punched in the face out of nowhere while “resting” in Central Park. The 34-year-old — who hails from Colombia and resides on Long Island — said he didn’t do anything to provoke his assailant, who was dressed in black.


Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton — who served the city from 1994 to 1996 and again from 2014 to 2016 — said the incidents are not confined to the Big Apple, and are happening “all over the country.”