COLUMBIA — Teens arrested on suspicion of robbing and attacking a Columbia man three weeks ago in a downtown parking garage said they did so as part of a game called “Knock Out King,” according to probable cause statements filed in 13th Circuit Court.
According to the police report, in the incident, which occurred just before 1 a.m. on June 6, 25-year-old Adam Taylor was walking through the Cherry Street parking garage at 100 S. Tenth St. when several males approached him and one of them struck him from behind and knocked him to the ground.
The males then kicked him as he lay on the ground and stole his wallet before running away.
Police interviews with the suspects revealed that they had discussed the attack prior to its execution and that it was part of a game, according to the statements.
Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton, in a June 11 interview with Columbia radio station KFRU-AM, said authorities were investigating the possibility that the game has connections to the Internet.
Sgt. Ken Hammond said the objective of the game is for its participants to knock out victims in one punch.
Hammond said the problem is not widespread in Columbia, and that there were no other incidents relating to the game after the date of the robbery.
According to a police news release, investigators used the surveillance video from the garage and the testimony of multiple witnesses to identify the suspects.
Three adult suspects were arrested at about noon on June 8. The release said police had interviewed those suspects just 35 minutes after the robbery about an unrelated misdemeanor assault.
Lee Andre Barney, 19; Walter Jones, 18; and Charles Williams III, 17, were arrested on suspicion of second-degree robbery. All of the men are from Columbia.
Two male juveniles were also arrested in connection with the incident. A 15-year-old was arrested June 8, and a 13-year-old was arrested June 10.
Barney, Jones and Williams are scheduled to appear before 13th Circuit Judge Larry Bryson for a preliminary hearing on July 9.