MOSCOW, December 27 (RAPSI, Ingrid Burke) - A Texan man was charged this week with a federal hate crime after having punched an elderly African American man in the head and breaking his jaw in an apparent manifestation of the “knockout game” phenomenon, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday.

The assailant faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The knockout game is described in the statement as an “assault in which an assailant aims to knock out an unsuspecting victim with one punch.” The DOJ notes that similar conduct has been carried out since as early as 1992, albeit having been referred to by different names.

According to the statement, 27-year-old Conrad Alvin Barret was arrested Thursday after having allegedly shot a video of himself attacking the 79-year-old victim, and then having shared the video footage with others.

What the video footage lacked in surreptitiousness, it apparently made up for in poor taste. “The complaint alleges Barrett made several videos, one in which he identifies himself and another in which he makes a racial slur,” the DOJ announced.

The young man allegedly speculated in the video footage on the likelihood of receiving national television airtime if he were to carry out a racially motivated crime.  The DOJ adds that Barret stated his intention on film not to attack “defenseless” individuals directly prior to attacking the elderly man.

The complaint alleges that Barret punched his victim with such force that the elderly man crumpled to the ground immediately. “Barrett then laughed and said “knockout,” as he ran to his vehicle and fled, according to allegations,” the DOJ explains.

The victim reportedly suffered two fractures to his jaw and spent several days in the hospital following the attack.

The statement goes on to note that, “Barrett had allegedly been working up the ‘courage’ to play the ‘knockout game’ for approximately a week.”

Though the DOJ doesn’t explicitly mention the earliest known instance of this phenomenon in its statement, an Associated Press article published in September 1992 attributes the Cambridge, Massachusetts murder of 21-year-old Norwegian student Yngve Raustein to the knockout game. According to the report, “prosecutors Monday charged that three Cambridge teen-agers were playing the brutal game [of knockout] when they robbed and killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology student Friday.”

The knockout game has attracted a great deal of media attention more recently, owing perhaps to recent fatalities attributed thereto.

The Syracuse Media Group reported in May that 51-year-old Michael Daniels was killed after teenagers as young as 13 attacked him at random in what witnesses told police appeared to be an outburst of the knockout game.

The Mirror reported in November that 17-year-old Eden Lomax had been convicted of murder after having killed a 43-year-old Simon Mitchell as Mitchell tried to shake his hand. According to the report, Lomax had already pleaded guilty to two other random attacks: one targeting a 31-year-old man with a learning disability, and the other targeting a 41-year-old drunk man mid-conversation.

In September, the New York Daily News reported that three teenagers – again, as young as 13 – had been charged for the murder of a homeless man in Hoboken, New Jersey in what the authorities claim was another materialization of the knockout game.