What's the 'knockout game?'

It's known by many names – knockout, the knockout game, bombing, just to name a few … It also could be happening in the Baltimore area.

But what exactly is it?

A Wikipedia entry on the "game" shows a history of attacks that span the globe and date back to 1992. The page defines the "game" as assaults in which "one or more assailants attempt to knock out an unsuspecting victim."

It's something that has gotten plenty of media attention in recent weeks with reported arrests in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. In those incidents, authorities are working to see if there's a link between assaults and the game, which has been something of urban legend for quite some time.

On Saturday a man in New York City was punched in the face in what appeared to be a random act. Police have charged the suspect with assault as a hate crime, and are investigating if the incident was indeed a "knockout game."

A similar incident happened in New York weeks prior, during which a 76-year-old woman was assaulted .

Our sister station in Denver also recently reported investigations into attacks believed to be the "knockout game." Authorities and psychologists say it's been around for decades – possibly longer.

Thursday at 11 p.m. ABC2 will air a report that takes a look at the cases of three Baltimore area assault victims who believe their attacks were part of a "knockout game."

CNN REPORT: Protecting yourself from the knockout game (link)

* The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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