Self-defense warning: the “knockout game”, a.k.a. “polar bear hunting”, is back


Regular readers will remember the so-called “knockout game” (sometimes called “polar bear hunting”) craze of the early twenty-teens.  Young men, at that time usually black and often aspiring gang members undergoing initiation rituals, would randomly assault pedestrians, usually white, aiming to knock them unconscious with a single blow.  Here are a few contemporary headlines.

Summary Of “Knock Out” Attacks

Vicious ‘knockout game’ racial hate crime captured on camera

Hunting the Domestic Polar Bear

Well, it’s back.

Four recent, unprovoked sucker-punch attacks across New York City — the latest on a 74-year-old woman — have signaled the return of the insidious “game,” a sicko street challenge where thugs attempt to render an unsuspecting innocent unconscious with a single blow, a law enforcement expert told The Post.

“Knock-out games are back. The attack on New Yorkers is very real. We have to keep our heads on a swivel,” said Michael Alcazar, a retired NYPD detective and an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

“It’s not only the mentally ill who are committing these assaults. There are individuals who are angry, bored and brazen, who know they are not going to be prosecuted.” 

. . .

While the NYPD said it doesn’t track such “knockout”-type assaults specifically, this year there have been closer to 20 “sucker-punch” incidents, media reports show.

. . .

Whether the attacks are being carried out by the mentally ill or thugs with bad intentions, the state’s controversial bail reform laws are emboldening attackers, law enforcers said.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a game or not. It’s just the way the streets are now,” said one veteran Brooklyn cop. “Perps think they can get away with anything, and most of the time they’re right. We arrest them and they get right back out.”

Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton — who served the city from 1994 to 1996 and again from 2014 to 2016 — said the incidents are not confined to the Big Apple, and are happening “all over the country.”

There’s more at the link, including some very unpleasant surveillance video clips.

I’ve said often enough that if you can move out of/away from big cities, you should do so now.  Things are not going to get better.  If you can’t, then this is one more security problem for you to think about.  You’re going to have to walk the streets with far greater situational awareness than you might have used up until now.  Keep your head on a swivel.  Don’t assume you’re safe.  Don’t look at your smartphone or get involved in a long telephone conversation.  Look around you all the time.  See who’s approaching who might be a threat.  Even if someone doesn’t look like a threat, he/she can turn into one at the drop of a hat (and they may drop it themselves).

Also, don’t forget that this type of assault can be potentially lethal.  If you fall unconscious from an unexpected blow, and hit your head hard on the pavement, concussion is the least injury you can expect.  It might also cause bleeding in your brain, leading to a stroke and even death.  It’s happened often enough before.  For example, see these articles:

Chilling video shows knockout punch that killed man in Brooklyn

Teen Will Face Charges For Sucker-Punch That Became Fatal

Frankly, if someone tries such an attack on me and I have enough warning to evade it at first, I’m going to treat it as an immediate and otherwise unavoidable threat to my life, health and safety, and I’m going to respond accordingly, to the full extent permitted under local laws.  Fortunately, I live in a town, county and state where one’s right to self-defense is affirmed by the law.  Not all are so fortunate.  If you’re among them, you might want to think about moving before things get any worse.



  1. Such an attack has seen the push to call it a "coward punch" here in Aus, after high profile incidents of king hits ending up with someone dead. Various states pushed through changes in laws to make it a specific offence on it's own, with much harsher penalties than plain assault.

  2. @The Lab Manager: Sir, your racist comments and innuendos are completely unacceptable. You are entitled to your views, but not to express them here, on a blog that is specifically and explicitly family-friendly. That also excludes racism.

    Please take your comments elsewhere, where they'll be more welcome.

  3. It never went away. Just the media stopped reporting the race/sex of the attacker.

    Was very popular in NYC during the COVIDIOCRACY against Jews and Asians, which, of course, is also double unprintable by our media.

    It got so bad last year that Hasids went back to their warrior background and started sending out groups of unarmed but very angry men to keep the peace in their neighborhoods. Because it wasn't young men in the young men's neighborhoods doing the knockout game, no, it was young men going into the predominately Jewish and Asian neighborhoods and doing the killer game.

    Gun Free Zone has been reporting on this for years.

  4. We're aware of it. My company's NY office is in Brooklyn. For now, no more going for walks ashore when time permits. We go to the stores in pairs and in either a personal vehicle or a car service vehicle, no taxis.
    The only Brooklyn cops we see are morbidly obese ladies of color, in the 300lb+ range, always in their vehicles. Sadly, this is neither a joke nor an exaggeration. Criminals merely need to jog to escape, or find a handy set of stairs.

  5. Vegas killer already out on the street most likely,

    A 28-year-old man was sent to prison Tuesday for a punch-and-fall death outside a downtown Las Vegas lounge.

    Under a deal with prosecutors, James Beach must serve three to 10 years for voluntary manslaughter in the death of 45-year-old Luis Campos, a father of five, outside Vanguard Lounge.

    With 339 days credit for time served in the Clark County Detention Center, Beach could be eligible for parole in about two years.

    Campos’ uncle, Paul Mancillas, told District Judge Douglas Herndon that he believes Beach could hurt someone else after being released from prison.

    “He will do this again,” Mancillas said. “He’s a predator.”

    The judge shared Mancillas’ concern.

    “It is unfathomable to me,” Herndon said. “It is unconscionable. There wasn’t any kind of fight or anything. You just decided to punch this guy as you’re walking past him on the sidewalk.”

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