A brutal knockout game attack severely injured two Endicott College (Mass.) students early last Sunday morning.
The suspect in the random campus attacks, identified in multiple media accounts as Endicott hockey player Dillon DeStefano, 19 (sometimes spelled with a small “s”), reportedly skated with Wayne Gretzsky in 2006 thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation after DeStefano had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
After the Endicott College knockout game attacks, at least one student notified campus police that DeStefano was allegedly bragging about what he had done. The suspect subsequently turned himself into to campus security and was later arrested by Beverly, Mass., police.
One of the victims suffered a broken jaw and another had a fractured eye socket. Both needed surgery in the hospital for their injuries. A third victim fortunately only suffered minor injuries. The suspect allegedly punched all three in the face within one hour of each other, and his right hand reportedly “ballooned up” as a result.
According to the prosecutor, the suspect unleashed knockout game attacks on fellow students the suspect didn’t know: “They appear to be unprovoked, vicious attacks on two students that were walking home. They were purely targets in this event.”
DeStefano, a sophomore, was accompanied by two friends when the attacks occurred, and those two students have been suspended from school.
The suspect faces aggravated assault and battery charges and is currently behind bars pending a dangerousness hearing after initially being released on $20,000 bail. He has entered a plea of not guilty. Under Massachusetts law, a so-called dangerous hearing can result in a suspect being held in jail for three months without bail.
Of the knockout game attacks, Endicott College President Richard Wylie said that “It’s symbolic of what’s happening here in our society when people just feel they can violate somebody’s rights…”
The knockout game is a disgusting trend that has teenagers targeting unsuspecting, random strangers with an aim of knocking them out with one punch. The incidents have taken place for several months spanning many different states, but is starting to gain more attention thanks to some viral videos of attacks spreading on the internet.
[image credit: John Phelan]