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Minneapolis teens can face charges for knockout game

News regarding a violent game called "knockout" has been making the rounds on news outlets around the country. Online communities and social networking sites are also all a buzz with knockout-related stories, making some question just what the game is and why there seems to be an increase in popularity.

The game involves juveniles attempting to knock out unsuspecting pedestrians with one punch to the head. In some cases, it seems the game has gone too far and police have linked at least two deaths to knockout.

Psychologists and authorities have weighed in on the knockout game, saying the idea behind the game has been around for quite some time.

In looking at just who is playing, authorities and psychologists say teenage boys who are looking to impress their friends are most commonly involved in the game.

One woman, who actually was hit by a teenager when riding her bike, works with teenagers. She and experts say the media and online frenzy about the game is certainly not helping to deter juveniles from trying it out themselves. Rather, one psychologist who specializes in juvenile delinquency, said with the assaults now being shown online and on the news, it adds a level of bragging rights to the teen doing the punching. This can make participating in the game even more enticing.

In hearing of these violent attacks, it is easy to think these teens must be sociopaths. However, psychology professor Paul Boxer said for the impressionable kids taking part in this, it is more about taking risks, not necessarily hurting someone. More, it is the thrill of a new way to get in trouble.

However, for the teens that are caught, this is not merely a case of "kids will be kids." Rather, these juveniles can end up facing serious criminal consequences, especially in cases where the game goes too far.

For parents in Minneapolis whose children are accused of being involved in the knockout game, an attorney can look into the possible consequences and defense options that may be available. Whether a juvenile is accused of throwing a punch, or simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time, an attorney with experience handling juvenile criminal defense can provide more information.

Source: StarTribune, "Knockout game: String of assaults across the country probed for link to sucker-punch game," Colleen Long, Nov. 21, 2013

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