Police in New Jersey are investigating whether a video currently making the rounds on social media is a cruel example of the violent "knockout game."
The video appeared on Facebook this week, though its original poster reportedly took it down, and police in Paterson believe it may have occurred in their city 45 minutes outside Manhattan.
In the video, a young male appears to knock out cold an unsuspecting pedestrian as a voice off-camera encourages him and laughs when the victim falls to the ground and remains there, apparently unconscious.
The goal of the so-called "knockout" game is to leave a victim unconscious with one punch. Media reports have been warning about the trend for years, though it has recently appeared to be on the wane.
Now Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale says he and his department are trying to determine if the video indeed shows the brutal game and who the suspects are.
“We’re doing everything we can to see what we have here,” Speziale said in a video statement posted Friday.
Speziale said he is working with the detective division to thoroughly vet the video and determine its authenticity as well as the identities of those involved.
"Once that is determined, we will take swift and decisive action," Speziale said.