Could woman, 72, punched in Crown Heights be latest ‘knockout game’ attack?

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BROOKLYN (PIX11) – The trend of random attacks that have been branded as “knockouts” are on the rise.  According to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn has seen seven incidents of late.

The latest one being investigated took place in Starret City in East New York on Monday.  It was in this predominantly Russian neighborhood that 72-year-old Mira Harpazi was clocked unexpectedly. On Tuesday, there was no answer at her door as she recovers from the incident.  A detective from the NYPD left his card behind for her to reach out when she feels better.

Meanwhile, Andre Mitchell, the founder of the youth anti-crime group Man-Up in East New York, says that while the attacks are not new, the details and images of these attacks saturating social media and creating copy cats is, “At the same time it magnifies it and it sometimes feeds into it and it makes it seem like something more popular than it necessarily is.”

Even Commissioner Kelly admitted on Tuesday that they are trying to identify as to whether or not this is a polarizing trend.

On Tuesday afternoon a PIX 11 News camera captured what was described as another potential case play out in real time.  Along New Lots Avenue in East New York word of a potential new attack quickly spread throughout  the area.  PIX 11 News was there minutes after the NYPD showed up.

A 40-year-old woman, who after resting inside of a nail salon steps away from where the attack occurred, was able to walk away on her own power.  Peppered with several questions from PIX 11 News, her only comment was “I was attacked, I was attacked.”

Minutes later, a PIX 11, crew acting on a tip, moved quickly over to an area few blocks away. It was there where the NYPD had a man in custody.  Shortly there he was hauled away to the 75th precinct refusing to answer any questions.

The NYPD told PIX 11 News that he is an “EDP” which stands for Emotionally Disturbed Person.  A member of the 75th precinct also conveyed that they are investigating the man to see if he was responsible for Monday’s attack.

Police have not specified the man’s identity or any charges.

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