MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- What some call "the knockout game" -- a disturbing trend of random violence -- may have claimed another victim in Milwaukee, and that victim calls what he has gone through this week "a nightmare" -- saying he could easily have been killed.
"The knockout game" involves assailants attempting to "knock out" an unsuspecting victim -- often with a single sucker punch.
Serious injuries and deaths have been attributed to this "game." Some commentators in the United States have cast doubt that the knockout game is an actual trend and have termed it a myth or an example of moral panic. Others have focused on the perception that the game is racially motivated and have called for it to be labelled a hate crime.
53-year-old Tim Bessette was leaving the bus stop near Sherman and Burleigh on Monday evening, December 2nd.
"At that point, all I felt was pain and I went down," Bessette said.
Bessette says he noticed four teens following him from the bus stop, and said he tried to cross the street.
He is now convinced that he is the most recent vicitm of a violent "game" documented in YouTube videos. Those who take part in this "game" often record the "knockout" and post it online.
"As these young fellows took off, I can remember hearing them laughing and giggling amongst themselves. You could kill somebody," Bessette said.
Bessette says the teens did more than break his nose.
"I've gone through a nightmare in the past several days. My left eye -- this is the first day I can see out of it. It was so swelled up I couldn't see," Bessette said.
Bessette says he gave Milwaukee police descriptions of the teen attackers, but hopes someone who knows them will turn them in.
"I understand that this game has been shown on YouTube by others and these adolescents will brag about their -- what they've done. I'm hoping whoever they brag to goes to authorities," Bessette said.
Bessette says it's scary to know the next victim of this so-called "game" could be anyone, anywhere.
"I could be right now in your city morgue. It's scary," Bessette said.
Bissette expects to get out of the hospital on Wednesday, December 4th, but has some recovery ahead of him -- and a major interruption in his education at MATC.
Milwaukee police say there are no suspects in custody, and the motive for this attack remains under investigation.
Additionally, Milwaukee police released the following statement:
"Several media outlets have asked whether this attack was part of a "Point-'em out-Knock-'em out game" and whether this is part of a trend in Milwaukee. The phrase “Point-‘em-out-Knock-‘em-out” is being used throughout the country to describe random acts of violence committed by immature criminals. The so-called “Point-‘em-out-Knock-‘em-out game” incidents are not a game, but are in fact crimes that can be categorized as battery and/or robbery.
The Milwaukee Police Department regards these incidents as serious and recognizes the concern these random attacks create. Virtually all robberies and assaults are unprovoked and the very fact that these events appear random makes them hard to prevent and hard to prepare for.
The MPD will continue to use crime analysis and investigative follow-up to deploy our resources effectively and arrest the offenders. We recommend that all pedestrians remain alert and aware of their surroundings at all times, as experience has shown that inattentive lone pedestrians are preferred targets of street crimes."