TRENTON – The disturbing trend of assaults known as “knockout’’ games continues to spur lawmakers to introduce measures to combat it.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. has introduced a bill to criminalize the recording or distribution of such assaults, in which someone attempts to knock a victim out with one punch or kick.
“The Knockout Game isn’t the first trendy crime that has spread because of the popularity of internet videos showing the incidents,” Kean said in a release to announce introduction of the bill, S3216. “This legislation makes it clear that people in New Jersey who record, share, post or publish people being assaulted will be criminally liable.”
Earlier this week, three bills were introduced by Assembly members to upgrade penalties for such assaults.
Under Kean’s bill, the third-degree crime of endangering an injured victim would be updated so that a person is guilty if they film, photograph or otherwise record the crime for circulation, publication or distribution. Violators face imprisonment for three to five years, a $15,000 maximum fine or both.