RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A North Amityville man was indicted Tuesday in connection with seven “knockout game” attacks across Suffolk County, Long Island.
Darryl Mitchell, 20, is accused of punching his victims in the head, unprovoked and in broad daylight. The most recent attack was on Dec. 1.
Two of the targets were over the age of 65, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported Wednesday.
“This is a bad, bad person he deserves nothing but jail time. Who goes about a crime like this? Just hitting unsuspecting people, they do nothing to provoke him, they have no idea what he is going to do, and he hits them in the side of the head,” District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the victims said they were struck with blows to the head for no reason.
Darrar Jones, one of Mitchell’s alleged victims, was left with seven stitches and a swollen eye after a punch he said came from nowhere.
“We’re standing this close together, and I’m moving out the way, and and it was just, pow! Right above the right eye,” Jones said.
James Graves, a 69-year-old grandfather, was also walloped in the head. He said the attacker came up behind him right in front of his house.
“It was two punches, there and there,” Graves said, pointing to his left eye and temple.
They said they were knocked out just like the victims in the attacks seen across the nation, and often caught on surveillance video, in random, unprovoked attacks.
“There is no motive, none whatsoever, to these attacks, other than the thrill of the attack and the thrill of hurting someone. That’s it,” Spota said, “and this is wrong.”
Spota said since April, Mitchell has struck at least seven times in his own neighborhood, with punches to his victims’ heads and faces. Spota said Mitchell targeted victims of all ages, and did it simply for kicks.
“It is not a game,” Spota said. “It is violence for violence’s sake only.”
A 17-year-old was knocked out at a school bus stop, another victim was attacked while waiting on a Long Island Rail Road platform, another was walking to church, and another still was raking leaves, authorities said.
“He’s got some type of vendetta, or hate he wants to let out on people,” Jones said. “I don’t know. Whatever his motive is, he hurt a lot of people.”
Officials said Mitchell acted alone and was not part of a gang. Relatives came to his defense.
“This is not normally him. This is not how he acts,” said Mitchell’s brother, Raymond Jones. “He’s been an athlete; he was good in school.”
Mitchell’s attorney requested a psychiatric exam.
“They’re calling it the ‘knockout game,’ and I know that phrase has a lot of buzz these days,” said defense attorney Scott Gross, “but I don’t think that that’s what this is.”
Mitchell pleaded not guilty to four counts of third-degree assault. The judge set bail at $200,000 bond, Hall reported.
At a hearing Wednesday, the judge said the attacks were not fun and games, citizens were hurt, and the cases need to be taken very seriously.
Prosecutors said Mitchell is suspected in two other cases. In one of them, a victim suffered permanent brain damage.
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