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Knockout game legislation in PA

December 4, 2013

HARRISBURG, PA — Legislation that would classify attacks related to violent “games,” such as “the knockout game” or “slap cam,” as aggravated assault is being introduced in the state House of Representatives, said Rep. Kevin Haggerty, a Democrat and prime sponsor of the bill. The offense would be graded as a first-degree misdemeanor.

The knockout game and other similar games involve randomly targeting unsuspecting strangers for violent assaults. Under current law, depending on the nature of the injury, such an offense would likely be characterized as simple assault.

Simple assault is a second- or third-degree misdemeanor. The violent games’ first-degree grading would warrant up to five years in prison under the bill, which also is sponsored by representatives Brian Sims, a Democrat, and Mike Regan, a Republican.

Haggerty said, “In recent months, there appears to have been a rash of incidents involving these ‘games,’ in which harmless pedestrians, including senior citizens, were violently attacked. Sadly, some victims have succumbed to their injuries. We should not stand for this type of violence in our communities.”