10:06 AM EST, November 21, 2013
Growing outrage has swept the nation over the brutal "knockout game" in which teenagers knock out defenseless people with a single punch.
James Addlespurger, a teacher, was walking on a Pittsburgh street and suddenly sucker-punched by a young man he was passing by. His head hit the curb. The victim says he's lucky to be alive, “I just wasn’t sure what happened, and there was blood on my shirt, my suit, my pants and the street.”
The “knockout game” has even gone global—a woman in London was knocked out by a single blow. In Philadelphia, a woman was staggered by a blow from behind and didn't know what hit her.
The “knockout game” has drawn emotional reactions on Youtube, including the following statement in a video: “Walking up to a perfect stranger in the street and punching him in the face with the intent of knocking him out is a form of terrorism.”
So far, the “knockout game” is being blamed for at least four deaths in Syracuse, New York, St. Louis, Chicago, and Hoboken, New Jersey respectively.
Psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere offered his explanation of this ruthless phenomenon, “Part of it may be being part of a crowd, not having an individual conscience, and just doing what everyone else is doing.”
Although the “knockout game” has become a disturbing and dangerous trend happening all across America, there are ways to protect yourself.
Security safety and self defense expert Steve Kardian shared with INSIDE EDITION, “We have to be aware of our surroundings. Don’t be on your cell phone; don’t have the ear buds in your ears.”
A prime “knockout” target could be characterized by wearing sunglasses, distracted by his cell phone and unaware of his surroundings on the street.
Simple ways to avoid becoming a victim of this brutal game include being alert, mindful of your surroundings and making subtle eye contact with the people around you.
“Glance at them. Take a look at them. Don’t stare, but look at them. You know that they are present,” said Kardian.