The NYPD says they have arrested a man suspected of committing six unprovoked assaults in Brooklyn, including an alleged assault on a woman walking with her 7-year-old child in Midwood last week. He has been charged with six counts of assault as a hate crime, along with several additional attempted assault and harassment charges.
Barry Baldwin, a 35-year-old Brooklyn resident, was arrested and charged for numerous alleged attacks that appear to fit the "knockout" assault profile—in which a victim is sucker-punched at random—that span from November 9th to December 27th of this year. The allegations include a November 9th incident involving a 78-year-old woman, who was attacked in Midwood; Baldwin is also accused of attacking a 20-year-old woman in Bensonhurst, two elderly woman in Canarsie, and a 35-year-old woman in Canarsie, in addition to the attack on the aforementioned 33-year-old woman in Midwood.
The NYPD believes Baldwin's most recent assault was on December 27th; he is also accused of attempted to hit a 38-year-old woman in Canarsie, but the NYPD says he missed and the victim was able to escape. There has been a lot of debate as to whether the so-called "knockout" attacks are a dangerous trend or merely overhyped by the media, and in announcing Baldwin's arrest, the NYPD did not use the word "knockout." Two weeks ago, a group of pre-teens ages 10, 11 and 14 were arrested in connection to "knockout"-like attacks, and they were all charged with assault, endangerment and criminal mischief.