New York City police have arrested a man on charges of assault as a hate crime after a 24-year-old Orthodox Jewish man was punched in the face.
Police are investigating whether it was part of a so-called ‘Knockout Game’ assault, in which the object is to knock out an unsuspecting person with one punch.
Amrit Marajh, 28, of Brooklyn, had just left a bar at around 2:45a.m. on Friday with three friends and was talking about boxing when the topic of the knockout game came up, police sources said.
His victim, Shmuel Perl, 24, has said that he overheard his alleged attackers daring each other to punch him out minutes before he was actually assaulted. Perl was stuck once, but wasn’t seriously injured.
Marajh was arrested on charges of assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment as a hate crime and released after posting $750 bail. His three friends were taken into custody, but released without charge.
Marajh’s lawyer has denied that the attack had anything to do with the brutal game, but New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly said there was no question that the game was the motive for the attack, reports ABC.
‘He makes a statement that he was punched in the side of the face,’ Kelly said. ‘He also makes a statement that just prior to it they were talking about the “Knockout Game”.’
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