The three teens, all from Jersey City, followed the homeless Hoboken man, Ralph Erick Santiago, 46, down a street back in September. One of the boys punched Santiago, causing him to fall back from the blow and collapse onto an iron fence, where he died after his neck was wedged between two posts, police said.
After the cops released video of the teens near the scene of the crime (screenshot above), they eventually turned themselves in. They are being held at the Hudson County Youth Detention Center without bail. Ironically, Santiago was disabled some 20 years ago in the Bronx after a similar attack, according to NJ.com.
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Investigators believe the teens were playing a violent game called “Knockout” when they attacked Santiago. The “game” is simple: walk up to an unsuspecting, defenseless person on the street and try and punch them out with one blow. While there is not data showing exactly how many people have died as a result of this horrible act of violence, many cases similar to Santiago’s have made national headlines in the past.
A 72-year-old St. Louis man, Hoang Nguyen, was killed in April of 2011 after being attacked in a game of knockout; the attacker, Elex Murphy, was convicted on second-degree murder charges. Many more of these attacks have taken place over the years nationwide, according to Wikipedia.
Across the pond in London, 16-year-old Tasneem Kabir was viciously punched from behind by Michael Ayode, 34, in a 2012 attack that was captured on camera. When a judge asked him why he did it, he said, “she didn’t have a friendly face.”