Columbia teens play to knock out victims

They lurk in the shadows playing a cruel and brutal game. On June 6, Columbia resident Adam Taylor was brutally attacked and beaten in a downtown Columbia parking garage by a group of seven teenagers. The city-owned video surveillance cameras at the 10th and Cherry garage recorded the attack. The footage shows seven young boys run up behind Taylor. One of the boys punches him and sends him crashing into the corner of the brick wall. However, the attack doesn't stop there; the teenagers come back two more times to kick and rob him. The attackers told police they were playing a game called Knock Out King. The point of the game is to knock someone out in one punch. This "game" left Taylor with bruising of the brain, severe whiplash, scratches on his face and internal bleeding.When I was a kid, I liked to go out and play sports and have fun with my friends. It didn TMt involve harming other people or thinking of games like this, Taylor said.When the attack happened, Taylor's parents were out of the country celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary.How can that happen? How can we let our society get to the point where that age group thinks this is fun? I just can TMt even wrap my arms around it, Taylor's mom Karen Taylor said.University of Missouri Department of Psychological Sciences Professor Dave Geary doesn TMt blame society. Geary said the Knock Out King game is a twisted way of showing dominance within a group of teenagers.This sort of thing, I TMve seen happen before, Geary said. It TMs just showing off a display of physical strength and prowess. It TMs just a status-oriented thing. It TMs like guys who compete by trying to get the best grades and try to out do each other that way, or by being the fastest runner. It TMs the same thing. They TMve just chosen the anti-social way to do it.Columbia police said Knock Out King is not a game at all.We don TMt consider that a game, whatsoever, Columbia police department Sgt. Ken Hammond said. That individual was assaulted and robbed. That indicates to us that that was a robbery, not a game in anyway.While Columbia police confirm the game is being played, they won't say how many of this past month's dozen or so armed robberies involve Knock Out King.Police said they typically advise women to not walk alone at night but say, as this case shows, men need to take the advice as well and pay attention to where you are and whose behind them.Police arrested five of the seven teenagers that attacked Taylor with the help of the surveillance video. Taylor said while he's almost fully recovered physically, he TMd feel even better if police arrested the other two teenagers that attacked him.