An alert was issued by University Police on Jan. 24 when a report came in that a suspicious male allegedly struck a female student at the Consortium Library bus stop at 8:27 a.m. He was described as “a white male in his mid-twenties wearing a knit hat, a flannel jacket, dark khakis or green pants, and was carrying a backpack.”
At 2:24 p.m. another report came in that the same man had struck another UAA student. This time UPD had security camera footage of the man walking out of the library and sent a capture of his image out, allowing students to better identify him.
Finally a few hours later UPD announced they had taken the alleged suspect into custody.
The suspect was later identified as 34-year-old Taurus Lapin. Lapin is not registered in the http://alaska.edu database, which indicates he is most likely not a student.
On Jan. 25 at 1:30 p.m., Lapin was brought in for an official hearing. In addition to the two charges of assault, another assault charge was added when another individual — this time a male — claimed Lapin knocked him off his bike and caused him injury. At the hearing Lapin told the judge that he didn’t hurt anyone but was merely dancing.
“I wasn’t doing nothing but dancing (Friday). I was just listening to music all day and walking around,” Lapin said.
A court record check reveals that this is Lapin’s only criminal charge in Alaska.
While there is no indication of how severely any of the victims were injured and no motive has yet been established, a trend in the United States dubbed the “knockout” game has been growing. The idea of this “game” is for a person to choose a random victim — all ages, genders, and ethnicities have been targeted — go up to them and try to knock them out with one blow. While normally it is a game done in groups with scores tallied up to declare winners, there have been single individuals doing it for nothing more than their own pleasures.
“(The knockout game) is horrible because anyone can be a target. They walk up to you and you don’t know what’s happening until it hits you,” said junior Amanda Evans. “These people were randomly targeted and on our own campus.”
Whether this was a random occurrence, a dance gone terribly wrong or the start of the knockout game in Alaska, it can be assured that this individual won’t be dancing or decking for quite a while.