Random victims of ‘Knock Out’ attacks

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Matthew Quain still struggles to piece together what happened after a trip to the local shop nearly turned deadly.

He remembers a group of loitering young people, a dimly lit street – then nothing.

The 51-year-old from St Louis ,Missouri, become another victim of “Knockout King” or simply “Knock Out”, a so-called game of unprovoked violence that targets random victims.

Reports of the attacks have come from around the country including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Chicago. In St Louis, an elderly immigrant from Vietnam died in an attack last spring.

The rules are as simple as they are brutal. A group chooses a lead attacker, then seeks out a victim.

Unlike typical gang violence or other street crime, the goal is neither revenge nor robbery.

The victim is chosen at random, often someone unlikely to put up a fight.

Many victims have been elderly and most were alone.