A couple of weeks ago we learned of a violent new trend called the knockout game, during which teen boys approach unsuspecting victims and punch them as hard as they could in hope of well, knocking the person out. Word of this shocking new game caused quite a bit of hysteria in areas close to where incidents of the game have surfaced. Apparently 23-year-old Ashley DePew of St. Louis was aware of this. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, DePew told police officers that she was punched in the face by a “black thug” participating in the knockout game. Her eye was swollen shut. The way DePew reportedly told officers the story two days after the actual occurrence, she was standing outside of St. Louis bar the Trophy Room when she was approached by a group of young black men and one of them punched her.
After the alleged incident occurred, DePew claims the young men fled the scene; however, when officers began questioning Trophy Room patrons who were present on Nov. 17, the night of the alleged incident, they all revealed that they were unaware of the assault. After doing a bit more digging, officers found that DePew made up the knockout game story to cover for her boyfriend, Justin Simms, who actually assaulted her. The couple eventually confessed to fabricating the story. As a result, investigators are pondering whether or not they’ll press charges against DePew for filing a false police report.
“We had to spend a significant amount of resources unraveling the lies they told. That’s resources that could have been spent on other crimes and it damaged the perception of the city. I hope these two individuals get help in their relationship,” said a St. Louis police spokesperson.
DePew’s attorney, Ethan Corlija is arguing that she should not be charged since she is a domestic violence victim.
“I don’t want this to detract from the fact that she’s still a victim,” he said. “She sustained pretty serious injuries. No matter how the circuit attorney chooses to view it, it still boils down to her being a victim and we can’t lose sight of that fact.”
It has not yet been announced whether or not DePew will be charged. Though it’s unfortunate that this young woman has found herself in an abusive relationship, her false report could’ve led to the arrest of an innocent black man. There should be some sort of repercussion for that.