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‘We are now a lawless city’: Recent spate of random assaults, ‘knockout games’ plagues New Yorkers

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NEW YORK, NY – New Yorkers are reeling from a rash of recent, apparently random, attacks on citizens, leading some to wonder if the “knockout game” is returning.

A 47-year-old man suffered a broken jaw in January after being sucker-punched in the face in the Bronx.  Police described the attack as a “possible knockout game.”

Also in January, Catholic Deacon Frederick Kurr, 74, was sucker-punched as he attempted to swipe his subway card inside a Bronx subway station.

Video footage shows a suspect, who had been standing at an adjacent turnstile, punching Kurr in the face.

The suspect reportedly told Kurr not to call for help, and he also told his victim:

“I just felt like punching someone.” 

Jose Gonzalez was later apprehended for the assault.  Gonzalez is a 48-year-old homeless man with a history of six previous arrests for “punching random victims.”

Another “unprovoked attack” occurred on a Queens subway platform in March, when a 67-year-old man was punched in the face.  The victim was treated on scene by EMS, and the suspect fled.

Also in March, a 65-year-old woman in Manhattan was knocked to the ground and “viciously” kicked and stomped in the head by an attacker.

In addition, on Easter Day in April, victim Judith Thomas, 75, suffered a “random assault” when an attacker punched her in the face as she was walking down a Harlem sidewalk.

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