Phoebe Connolly says she had no idea what was coming when she biked through a group of teens in Columbia Heights.
“My whole head went flying to the side,” she explains. “It was a hard punch. One kid came from the side and pretty much cut me off. “He just like threw a hook with his left hand, and just got me right in the face,” she continues. “And he said ‘wa-pow’ as he hit me in the face.” Phoebe says she was able to pedal away, but was left sore and with a bloody nose. Otherwise, she is okay.
“I posted something on Facebook, and a friend of mine said, ‘Oh, that sounds like the knockout game.’ And I’d never heard of it.” Phoebe then Googled it and realized the same thing had happened the night before in the District.
“I learned that in Columbia Heights specifically it happened, and realized that was probably the same group of kids,” she said. A 27-year-old woman says Thursday night she was on foot when a group of teens, also on bikes, came up. One punched her hard in the back of her head. But she was not knocked out either and was left with a sore head and neck. However, videos from elsewhere show victims who were completely knocked out cold — like in New York and New Jersey. Now, D.C. police are saying to watch out for it here. Connolly works with teens for a living, and says the knockout game is senseless. “Are they going to take somebody’s money? Are they going to take their cell phone? No, they’re just going to knock you out. There’s no purpose for it whatsoever,” she says.