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Irvington Teen Accused of 'Knockout Game' Assault in South Orange

An 18-year old punched a pedestrian in robbery attempt last month, police said.

An Irvington teen has been accused of an "unprovoked assault of a pedestrian” last month in South Orange.

Romaine McKenzie, 18, was arrested on Tuesday in Irvington for an alleged assault that occurred on Saturday, Nov. 16.

Two people were assaulted within one mile of each other and just a few hours apart over the course of that weekend. The two incidents seem to follow the trend of a game called “knockout” in which youths try to knock out passersby with one punch and steal their belongings.

At 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, a Morristown resident was walking on Irvington Avenue near Prospect Street, just one block away from the South Orange police station, when he was approached by four young men and punched in the face for no apparent reason, police said.

The boy who punched him was described as dark skinned, 5-feet-8-inches with a thin build, and was wearing a brown jacket, black knit cap and dark colored gloves, which police believe had a hard object inside, according to the police report.

Another youth was described as wearing a red jacket, black knit cap, black jeans and glasses.

At 1 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17, just hours after the assault, a Seton Hall University student was walking on South Orange Ave. near Centre Street, when two men punched him in the face and attempted to take his belongings, police said.

The victim fought back and the two men ran away without any of his items, police said.

The incidents prompted South Orange Police Chief James Chelel to address the South Orange Township Committee on Monday, Nov. 25.

Chelel said he believed the Irvington teen was responsible for three knockout incidents in the village.

Detectives are continuing to investigate the Nov. 16 assault, police said.

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