A Hartford teenager is facing charges after police say he assaulted an elderly man in the middle of the street.
The attack on Sigourney Street in Hartford a few weeks ago was caught on camera and while police are still investigating, they say it lines up with the so-called knockout game.
The victim, William Prude, 66 of Hartford, said he was waving to his neighbor when someone came up behind him.
“All I know is, it was just boom and I’m lying there in the middle of the street,” Prude said.
He said a teenager sucker punched him right outside of his home, then left him in the middle of a busy road.
Someone stopped to ask if he wanted to go to the hospital, but he declined and by that point, the suspect was gone, he said.
“They’re very lucky,” Deputy Chief Brian Foley, of the Hartford Police Department, said. “It’s on Sigourney Street and you saw him fall into the roadway. This could have worked out much worse.”
The video of the disturbing attack went viral at Hartford High School, where administrators helped police identify the 16-year-old they say is responsible.
Friends of the suspect told NBC Connecticut it was a dare.
“It was to get popular and make friends and stuff,” Juan Ruiz, of Hartford, said. “They made him do a bet to hit the old guy and the old guy was a random guy they just picked out.”
Attackers sucker punching unsuspecting victims for no reason is part of a disturbing trend that is often referred to as the knock out game.
While Prude does not understand why he was the target, he said he is thankful it wasn’t worse.
The suspect is facing several charges, including assault on an elderly person and disorderly conduct.
He was referred to juvenile court.