After tuning into the middle of a news report about this, I kept wondering why some of the victims didn’t retaliate. Soon enough I realized that this phenomenon was happening in the UK.
Welcome to the disturbing world of the "happy slappers" - a youth craze in which groups of teenagers armed with camera phones slap or mug unsuspecting children or passersby while capturing the attacks on 3g technology. According to police and anti-bullying organisations, the fad, which began as a craze on the UK garage music scene before catching on in school playgrounds across the capital last autumn, is now a nationwide phenomenon.
And as the craze has spread from London to the home counties to the north of England, so the attacks have become more menacing, with increasing numbers of violent assaults and adult victims. [SNIP]
Earlier this month James Silver, 34, a freelance journalist, was attacked while jogging on the South Bank in London. While one youth blocked his path, another hit him with a rolled-up magazine.
When he spun around another teenager - who had been hiding behind nearby scaffolding - leapt out and hit him hard in the head. When he staggered to his feet he noticed the rest of the gang were jeering and pointing their mobile phones at him.
Silver admits that while the attack left his "ego smarting" he did not think it worth reporting. "At the end of the day I was unharmed but it was pretty shocking at the time," he said. "The worry is that while the bulk of the attacks are trivial, some of these youths could be carrying knives."
Somehow I don’t think this fad will migrate over the Atlantic. There are too many people here carrying weapons more lethal than five fingers, a sweaty palm and/or a knife.
(Thanks to Marty Card)