The media frenzy surrounding the so-called “Knockout Game” spiked last month after reports of the random attacks sprouted in New York and other major cities, with some alleging it was race-related. In St. Louis, however, police say a woman who claimed a group of Black youth targeted her in the vicious practice was lying to protect her boyfriend.
Ashley DePew, 23, claimed last month that a trio of young Black men attacked her, which local outlets concluded it was possibly related to the hyped knockout game. After investigating the incident and the release of an image that has since gone viral, St. Louis police have charged DePew and her boyfriend Justin Simms with filing false police reports.
Simms actually was the one who struck DePew in her left eye, which the pair claim was an accident during a heated argument according to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
DePew filed in her original police report that she and Simms went to a local bar to pick up a drunk friend on November 17 when she was allegedly struck in the eye outside. After the friend said he never saw the couple that night and other accounts, Simms and DePew caved last Thursday (December 5) and admitted it was all a lie to keep their families from meddling with their relationship.
Despite the ruse, DePew’s attorney asked for leniency ahead of the charges the couple was slapped with last Friday (December 6).
“I don’t want this to detract from the fact that she’s still a victim,” said Ethan Corlija . “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.”
St. Louis Sam Dotson told reporters early on that the knockout game angle was a possible lie based on inconsistent accounts from DePew, yet the story still took off.
Hit the jump to see the full-size image of DePew’s injury that went viral on social media networks.