“Knockout King,” sometimes simply referred to as “knock out,” is a new “game” of unprovoked violence that targets random victims.  The “game” frequently has tragic consequences.

The rules of the “game” are simple and brutal.  A group, usually young men and teenage boys (teenage girls in some cases), choose a lead attacker and then seek a  victim to assault.

The attacker approaches the selected victim and begins physically assaulting him or her.  If the victim is knocked down, the group usually scatters.  If not, others in the group join the attack and physically assault the victim until he or she is unconscious or seriously injured.

It isn’t clear how long “Knockout King” has been around or how many attacks have actually occurred.  St. Louis police report 10 “Knockout King” attacks in the past 15 months.

Some of the attacks have been captured on video and posted on social media.  Criminologists say these attacks are a gang-like extension of behavior by young males attempting to show how tough they are.

The random, unpredictable nature of “Knockout King” attacks renders them difficult to address from a prevention standpoint.