Police in New Haven are warning people to avoid texting or talking on the phone while walking on city streets after innocent people are getting hurt because of a brutal trend.
It's called the Knockout Game, where unsuspecting people are attacking for no apparent reason. Police said that the suspects are not robbing the victims, with the most common being the elderly and even women.
"The 'Knockout Game' appears to be a national trend," said Yale University police Chief Ronnell A. Higgins in a statement Thursday.
One of the more recent attacks happened in Connecticut. Lawrence Hsieh, 35, was walking to the park and ride bus stop on Church Street in New Haven on Tuesday after leaving work.
Hsieh said he was punched in the face and momentarily knocked out. When he regained his senses, the suspect, flanked by two accomplices, ran away.
Hsieh suffered a fractured and swollen nose because of the attack.
Higgins warned pedestrians to take extra precautions and avoid using their cell phone or listening to music while walking. Walkers should avoid isolated area after dark and call police if they feel threatened.
"Your physical safety is of paramount concern, but the upcoming holidays are also a good time to increase awareness about your property. Never leave any portable electronic device unattended - even for a minute, even in a place you feel comfortable being - and remember to lock your doors and windows, particularly if you are leaving campus for the holidays," Higgins said.
Police are still investigating Tuesday's incident, but no arrests have been made at this time. Anyone with information is urged to call New Haven police at 203-946-6304, or the New Haven Police Tips Line at 203-946-2875. All calls will be kept confidential.
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