By Walt Hunter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — CBS 3 has learned that Philadelphia Police are trying to determine if a vicious attack on an Old City street Tuesday night may be linked to the so-called “Knockout Game” in which criminals try to punch a random victim so hard they lose consciousness.
Police say 30-year-old Diego Moya, a Manhattan chef, suffered a broken nose and jaw, after he was ambushed by a group of six to eight males, ages 16 to 21, as he walked along Market Street between 2nd and 3rd just after 11 p.m. Tuesday night. Moya, who had come here to have a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with friends and was returning when he was attacked, was punched and kicked, police said.
Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel says detectives are looking for the motive for the attack in which nothing was taken and which appears random.
Moya’s jaw remains wired shut after several hours of surgery for his injuries.
On Monday, Mayor Michael Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey held a press conference warning there would be serious consequences for anyone taking part in “knockout” attacks like those caught on video in other cities (See Related Story).
“You’re also hurting another human being for no reason at all. There’s no excuse for this kind of behavior, it will not be tolerated here in the city. We will do everything we can to both prevent, but if someone does engage, we will catch you. You’ll be prosecuted, and your life will be changed dramatically,” Nutter said.
So far, no suspects are in custody for the attack on Moya. Old City neighbors told CBS 3 they are concerned about the violence, especially when a visitor from another city is the victim of such a vicious assault.
“Walking around during the day I don’t feel that I’m at harm at all. It’s bizarre to hear those stories, just to know it took place over here,” neighbor Joe Seifert said.
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