ST. LOUIS • Police say a reported “knockout game” attack that recently attracted national attention to St. Louis is false.
Ashley DePew, 23, and her boyfriend Justin Simms, 25, were charged Friday with falsifying a police report. The pair had claimed DePew was the victim of a random attack outside a St. Louis bar last month, police said.
Police now believe she was actually injured by her boyfriend and the pair fabricated the “knockout game” story as a cover for her injury.
Dotson said the damage false reporting causes is widespread.
“We had to spend a significant amount of resources unraveling the lies they told,” Dotson said. “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.”
DePew told police she and her boyfriend had gone to The Trophy Room early on Nov. 17 to pick up a friend who was intoxicated, but became separated in a crowd. She said she had been punched in the eye by a group of young men outside of the bar.
She reported the alleged attack to police two days later.
But authorities say witnesses and evidence from the bar indicate the couple wasn’t there that night, and there was no attack. Police said detectives interviewed the male friend the couple claimed to have picked up. He told police he was never with Depew or Simms that night.
The woman and her boyfriend admitted on Thursday that they had fabricated the story because they feared repercussions from police and their families, police said in court documents. They told investigators that they were traveling on Interstate 55 and began arguing. When the woman tried to put her hand on her boyfriend’s, he told police, he flung it back violently, inadvertently punching her in the eye.
After going to a hospital, they told the woman’s parents that she had been punched at random by a stranger. The parents noted that the scenario sounded similar to the “knockout game,” in which groups of young teens target people at random, punching them for no reason and often not taking anything of value.
The woman’s attorney, Ethan Corlija, said before the charges were filed that he hoped his client wouldn’t be charged.
“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.”
The woman’s story went viral after a local television station aired her story, garnering thousands of hits on Facebook, Twitter and other websites. The Post-Dispatch did not report on the “knockout game” claim at the time, pending resolution of inconsistencies in the story.
Joel Currier of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.
The following open letter to Pope Francis was written today by Geert Wilders, the leader of the PVV (Partij voor de Vrijheid, Party for Freedom) in the Netherlands.
Open letter to his Holiness Pope Francis
In your recent exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Paragraphs 247-248) you draw the world’s attention to the indebtedness of Christianity to the Jews and their faith. The exhortation also contains a sharp condemnation of the terrible persecutions which the Jews have endured from Christians in the past.
Your words are words which might inspire many.
Unfortunately, they are in sharp contrast to the expressions of hatred which were voiced last October by the spiritual leader of Sunni Islam, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar Institute in Cairo.
During an interview, aired on Egyptian television on October 25, Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayeb reaffirmed the relevance of Koranic verse 5:82, which states that of all people the Christians are closest to the Muslims, while the Jews are strongest in enmity towards them. This verse has inspired centuries of Islamic hatred of Jews.
Al-Tayeb’s invocation of Koranic Jew-hatred is in line with fourteen centuries of Islamic teaching. Grand Imam Al-Tayeb’s predecessor at Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, even wrote a book, entitled The Children of Israel in the Koran and the Sunna, in defense of Jew-hatred based on Koranic teachings.
The current suffering of Christians from Islamic persecution in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, and so many other countries, clearly indicates what Christians have to endure from the followers of the Koran. What atheists and Jews, who are considered the worst enemies, have to endure from Islam is even worse.
In your exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (paragraphs 252-253) you state that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”
Reality does not confirm this statement.
The Koran is full of bellicose and hate-mongering verses against non-Muslims. Your Holiness will be able to find them if he reads the Koran, but I will name just a few:
|2:191-193:||“And slay them wherever you come upon them, […] Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s.”|
|4:89:||“If they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”|
|5:33:||“This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, […]: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land.”|
|8:60:||“Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”|
|9:5:||“When the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush.”|
|9:29:||“Fight those who believe not in Allah.”|
|9:30:||“The Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them.”|
|9:123:||“O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing.”|
|47:4:||“When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks.”|
I hope that the Holy Father will help us defend the West’s Judeo-Christian and humanistic civilization, to which even atheists and agnostics owe their freedom and democracy.
Nothing will be gained by a refusal to face reality.
We must speak the truth about Islam — the largest threat to mankind in this present age.
Member of the Dutch Parliament
Leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV)
Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in the wiring of male and female brains.
Maps of neural circuitry showed that on average women’s brains were highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, in contrast to men’s brains, where the connections were typically stronger between the front and back regions.
Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, said the greatest surprise was how much the findings supported old stereotypes, with men’s brains apparently wired more for perception and co-ordinated actions, and women’s for social skills and memory, making them better equipped for multitasking.
“If you look at functional studies, the left of the brain is more for logical thinking, the right of the brain is for more intuitive thinking. So if there’s a task that involves doing both of those things, it would seem that women are hardwired to do those better,” Verma said. “Women are better at intuitive thinking. Women are better at remembering things. When you talk, women are more emotionally involved – they will listen more.”
She added: “I was surprised that it matched a lot of the stereotypes that we think we have in our heads. If I wanted to go to a chef or a hairstylist, they are mainly men.”
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