Phoebe Connolly, a Vermont woman who visits Washington, D.C., frequently for work was riding her bike when she was sucker punched.
There was no reason, no provocation. The group didn't steal anything from her.
Connolly was one of D.C.'s latest victims of the disturbing -- and spreading -- trend. The "knockout game."
"He just like threw a hook with his left hand, and just got me right in the face," Connolly, who said she was attacked by a group of teens in the Columbia Heights neighborhood Thursday, told WJLA-TV. "And he said 'wa-pow' as he hit me in the face."
The knockout game has been around at least for a few years, but a recent news report of an incident in New Jersey seems to have led to an uptick in the senseless attacks. (Image source: YouTube)
"Knockout," a senseless and violent game, involves picking a target at random and punching them.
Connolly told WJLA she was able to get back on her bike and ride to where she was staying with a bloody nose.
"I posted something on Facebook, and a friend of mine said, 'Oh, that sounds like the knockout game.' And I'd never heard of it," the 27-year-old said.
Watch Connolly talk about the attack in WJLA's report:
The "game" isn't new. Reports of the disturbing activity date back to at least 2008. Most recently, a news report about a New Jersey homeless man being punched to death by three teens went viral, seeming to cause an uptick in the game around the country.
In the words of one teen, "the game knockout is when people (are) bored … whenever people come walking down the block or something, they just knock 'em out."
"Knockout is when you just punch somebody and they go to sleep when you hit them," another teen told WCBS-TV.
Another screen shot of surveillance footage capturing the knockout game. (Image source: YouTube)
"It's just like, picking a target that is alone, defenseless and just go 'boom,'" a teen said.
What's the point?
"For the fun of it," another teen explained to the local news station. "Even though they shouldn't be doing it, people do it."
Watch WCBS-TV's report about the attack in Hoboken, N.J., that went viral last week:
As news about the knockout game continues to spread, it seems more people becoming aware of its prevalence in their community. DCist reported more readers have come forward saying they have been victims of similar attacks.
This report from WPIX-TV describes NYPD's investigation into the trend in Brooklyn:
"Are they going to take somebody's money? Are they going to take their cell phone? No, they're just going to knock you out. There's no purpose for it whatsoever," Connolly, who works with teens, told WJLA of the violent attacks.