Arrest Made in Series of Knockouts in Long Island

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. -

A Long Island man is being held on $100,000 bail after authorities say he committed knockout assaults against seven people.

Darryl Mitchell pleaded not guilty Wednesday at his arraignment. A grand jury indictment charges him with seven counts of assault. He is also charged with one count of criminal mischief.

The Suffolk County district attorney’s office said Mitchell dealt knockout blows to seven people starting in April, WABC reported. Ages of victims ranged from as young as 17 to as old as 69.

The 20-year-old African-American is believed to be the first person arrested in Suffolk County in connection with attacks in which the object is to knock out an unsuspecting victim with a single punch to the head. In recent months, the sick game has been played in New York by black or Hispanic teens, and instills fear in area residents, since the attacks are totally at random.

The phenomenon gained media attention in recent months since a spate of attacks in Brooklyn attacked Orthodox Jews. Those, not the crimes allegedly done by Mitchell, are under investigation by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force.

Authorities say the latest two incidents in which Mitchell had a hand occurred on Dec. 1, near his North Amityville home.

Mitchell was arrested Dec. 4, after four victims identified him from photographs. He pleaded not guilty to four counts of assault at his initial arraignment. He’s being held on $50,000 bail.