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Mississippi Lawyer Blog

The Knockout Game: Terrifying Trend or Media Madness?

If you follow the national news, you may have noticed multiple reports of an alarming trend that the media has dubbed "The Knockout Game." The "game" is to select an unsuspecting and unlucky target, then try to knock them out with one blow. Reports of this terrifying phenomenon have been popping up in urban areas across the country, from New York City to San Francisco. Some victims have allegedly been targeted because of their race, religion, or cultural heritage.

However, despite prevalent reporting by many large media outlets, many law enforcement officers are adamant that there is no game--just an upswing in reporting of random assaults. Law enforcement officials are reluctant to label these random attacks as a pattern of behavior and instead claim the prevalence of the "game" is nothing more than an urban myth. Many commentators, including the always-funny Jon Stewart, have noted that the media's emphasis on these attacks may be nothing more than over-hype and borderline hysteria. Many have pointed to the unfortunate truth that physical assault, whether random or targeted, has been occurring for decades.

Regardless of whether assault occurs as the result of a ridiculous game by teenagers or as a specific, targeted attack, assault is a serious crime in Mississippi. Under 97-3-7 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, there are two types of physical assault: simple assault and aggravated assault. A person may be guilty of simple assault if:

  • he attempts to cause bodily injury to another person;
  • he knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person;
  • he negligently causes bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon or other; means that are likely to produce death or serious bodily harm;
  • he uses physical menace to cause another to fear imminent bodily harm.

If convicted of simple assault, the perpetrator can be punished by a fine of up to $500.00 or a six-month jail stay. Simple assault upon a number of professions and state employees can increase the penalty to up to $1,000.00 or a five-year imprisonment.

A person may be guilty of aggravated assault if:

  • she attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another person;
  • she purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causes a serious bodily injury while under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life;
  • she attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon or other means likely to produce serious bodily harm or death;
  • she causes death to a child in the process of boarding or exiting a school bus.

If convicted of aggravated assault, a perpetrator can be punished by up to a year in county jail or twenty years in the state Penitentiary. Again, aggravated assault against a state official or certain professionals can carry a punishment of up to $5,000 and a thirty-year imprisonment.

Assault is a serious crime with serious consequences. The bottom line is this: if you find yourself charged with assault--be it simple assault, aggravated assault, domestic violence, or any other assault-related crime--contact the attorneys at Coxwell and Associates. We are experienced, aggressive, and knowledgeable attorneys who will work tirelessly to help achieve the most favorable result under the facts. If you have a question about an assault or any other criminal charge, please call us for a complimentary consultation.

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