Springfield, Ill. aims to increase penalties for `knockout game` - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Springfield, Ill. aims to increase penalties for `knockout game`

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A new proposal in Springfield, Ill. would beef up penalties for those guilty of taking part in a violent game known as "the knockout game."

The "game" is played when one person targets another random person by hitting them in the neck or head out of nowhere.

Psychologists say it's mainly teenage boys looking to impress their friends who are doing it.

The proposal would increase prison-time to a minimum of three years.

It would also let prosecutors charge 15-year-olds as adults.

This proposed change by Springfield comes after a 27-year-old Houston man involved in a knockout game was charged with a hate crime.

Conrad Alvin Barrett videotaped himself punching an elderly black man in the face and yelled "knockout" on camera.

The assault left the 79-year-old victim with a broken jaw.

In the video, Barrett said, "the plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised."

He is not the first knockout game participant to be charged with a hate crime.

A legislative committee in Springfield has not yet taken up the proposed change.

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