VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A man says he was just riding his bike at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront when out of nowhere a man got up and punched him in the head.
The victim believes he was on the receiving end of the “knockout game,” a crime fad sweeping the county.
“I‘m lucky that I didn’t get seriously get injured,“ said the Virginia Beach man, who wanted to remain anonymous. He said he wanted to tell his story to raise awareness — a story that ended with a trip to the emergency room.
“It was absolutely crazy,” he said. “All I could do was put my hands up and cover my head the best I could.“
He said he riding his beach cruiser along the boardwalk early Sunday morning, headed back to his house. He had just passed 16th Street when he said there was nothing he could do to avoid the attack.
“Out of nowhere, a guy jumps off the bench and clocks me in the back of the head,” he said. “I fell down, the bike went down, the bike was on top of me, and I got a guy above me just whaling on the back of my head.“
The victim said he saw the young guy on a bench sitting with a woman seconds before the attack.
“All I saw was him jump up, sprint towards me,” he said. “I had no time to react.“
This type of story might sound familiar to some of you, but it didn’t to the victim: “I never heard of the ‘knockout game’ ever, and since this incident, I‘ve learned a lot about it.”
The “game” catches unsuspecting victims with a punch in the head, typically from behind. The goal is to knock the victim out with a single blow. In several cases nationwide, the attacks were caught on camera.
“What compels somebody to want to erroneously jump somebody out of the blue with no provocation?” the victim asked.
The assault left the man bruised and battered: “I got a huge bump right on the top of my head. I have a huge knot in the back of my neck.“
He had a concussion, not to mention scrapes up and down the side of his body. What he hopes is that others at the beach take note before they become victims, too.
Police are still looking for the suspect in this weekend’s case. If you have any information that could help police, please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.