Bill Would Increase Penalties for "Knockout Game" Attacks

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014  |  Updated 10:54 AM EDT
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Lawmakers Consider "Knockout Game" Bill

nbc10.com

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase criminal penalties for sucker-punch attacks.

A bill before the General Assembly's Public Safety Committee would make a so-called "knockout game" assault a Class D felony. It is the least serious felony, punishable by one-to-five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

Assailants in such attacks attempt to knock out random victims with a single punch and often place video of the attacks online.

The bill would make the “knockout game” a class D felony and attackers could face up to five years behind bars and a $5,000 fine.

In most reported cases of this type of attack, teenagers are responsible and lawmakers want to be able to charge anyone over 16 as an adult.

Lawmakers held a public hearing on Tuesday to hear testimony on that and other bills.

Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-8th District) was a police officer before he was an elected official. He is now on the public safety committee and said local officials wanted to do something pro-active in Connecticut.

Stamford police in February arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with an attack that left a 63-year-old Stamford High School employee with several broken bones. Officials expressed concern that the incident was an example of the "knockout game."

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