ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – Cyclists and pedestrians need to pay close attention to their surroundings because it could prevent them from becoming victims of a dangerous game called “knockout king.”
Knockout king is a so-called game where teens punch an unsuspecting target with the motive of knocking him or her out. Earlier this year, a similar attack killed a south St. Louis man.
The latest victim in this game was a man riding his bike with his girlfriend in south St. Louis near the Missouri Botanical Garden. The cyclists say they were doing everything right - riding on off hours, riding together - when they were blindsided by the barrage of teens playing a potentially deadly game.
Emily Luten says her boyfriend was punched right under the head while they were cycling home Thursday night. She says the suspects were a group of teens loitering outside the Botanical Garden. “It was a random attack,” she says. “No one knew anything, there were no words exchanged, we didn't even look at them. I mean it was just come up, punch, run away.”
Luten’s boyfriend was not the only victim. Moments before, the teens targeted another cyclist. Witness Lucy Taylor says she saw six teens beating on a man.
In these cases, neither victim was seriously hurt, not knocked out.
Police say they are searching for those responsible. They say they range in age from 13 to 17. “To me it's sad. It's sad that there are kids who can do this, they have free time. It's 10 o'clock on a school night that they're out on the streets,” says Luten.
But Taylor says the teens’ actions won’t stop her from riding. “I'm not going to be scared to ride my bike around my city,” she says.