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The Latest "Knockout Game" Claim Was a Lie, But the Truth is Way More Depressing

Categories: Crime

depewface.jpeg
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Ashley DePew says her face was fractured in two places.
In a depressing-yet-predictable twist, the 23-year-old woman whose battered face went viral in "knockout game" hysteria last month was actually hit by her boyfriend, not randomly attacked by a stranger, police say.

St. Louis police charged 25-year-old Justin Simms, of Arnold, and his girlfriend Ashley DePew, 23, with filing false police reports after the pair insisted DePew was suckerpunched by a random thug outside the Trophy Room bar in south city.

DePew told police and KMOV-TV (Channel 4) that she may have been the victim of the violent phenomenon turned national mania known as the "knockout game," where groups, especially of teenagers, viciously attack random victims.

See also: Knockout King: Kids call it a game. Academics call it a bogus trend. Cops call it murder.

Chief Sam Dotson tells reporters he was frustrated to see the lie go viral even as police told reporters early on that DePew's story was inconsistent.

"We had to spend a significant amount of resources unraveling the lies they told," Dotson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "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 suffered a double fracture and needed reconstructive surgery, according to what she told friends and media.

See also: Apparently Knockout Game Has Similar Rules to Uno

The fake knockout narrative went like this: DePew and Simms stopped by the Trophy Room on Arsenal early on November 17 to pick up a drunk friend. The couple was separated in the crowd gathered outside, and someone stepped forward to punch DePew in the face.

trophyroom.jpg
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Trophy Room
"I dropped immediately to the ground and screaming and crying, and everybody just scattered," she told KMOV.

Turns out, it's all one big lie. Police say there is no evidence the couple was at the bar, and the drunk friend told investigators he never saw DePew or Simms that night, according to the Post-Dispatch.

The real story is hardly unusual, but it's still upsetting: The couple was arguing while driving when Simms angrily lashed out, hitting her in the eye, according to the Post-Dispatch.

The couple originally fed the lie to DePew's parents, who made the connection to knockout-game stories in St. Louis and other large American cities. DePew filed a police report two days later.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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Trophy Room

5099 Arsenal St., St. Louis, MO

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86 comments
igotplayedonce
igotplayedonce

So we have a multitude of issues going on here...

1. A couple of DOLTS get into some of disagreement resulting in one of them being injured.

2. Instead of being honest with herself, the alleged victim Ashley Depew defends a Wife Beater (Evening Whirl term), concocts come cockamamie story to hide a brutes abusive actions.

3. A false police report is filed.

4. A wild goose chase is initiated.

5. In their zeal to get a story, local media outlets fall for the bait.

6. An innocent teenager could have been put in prison.


At the very least, she should be charged with filing a false police report and her "Boyfriend" charged with assault.  

Dave Wilson
Dave Wilson

It's the media had balls they'd call if what it is. A HATE CRIME

Nikki Marie
Nikki Marie

How is this helpful? The only people benefiting from all this tragedy are the newspapers and media outlets. Stop stirring the pot! #WhatHappenedToResponsibleJournalism?

Adrien Fauquet
Adrien Fauquet

I was struck by the Knockout Gang three years ago on July 4th, good times. I'm white they were black, no protests or riots for me haha.

Hainstain Olter
Hainstain Olter

Are you really so dim you need others to look up fact you would be aware of if only you pulled your head out and took a look.

Christian Anderson
Christian Anderson

Confirmation here that St. Louis is still home to many white racists.

Hainstain Olter
Hainstain Olter

Fake account? I have countless friends and family on my facebook page. How does calling my fb account fake sooth your liberal butthurt?

Kelli Mayahi
Kelli Mayahi

I hope she gets the shit beat outa her again.....STUPID ass deserving the look she is sporting these days.

Greg McDaniels
Greg McDaniels

Hey Handstand Olter. Why are you posting from a fake account?

Robert Ora Lowe
Robert Ora Lowe

Funny how they can work knockout game into the headline about domestic abuse and not the real subject.

Hainstain Olter
Hainstain Olter

The only bright side to the knockout game are that they victims are always inner city liberals who pander and grovel before blacks.

Hainstain Olter
Hainstain Olter

Facts would only be more damning to the black community.

Hainstain Olter
Hainstain Olter

What isn't odd is a libtard who resorts to mocking someone when they point out media biased over what and how things are reported. In fact, it's all too common!

jbradhicks
jbradhicks

I keep telling people. If a woman turns up injured or killed, and the only other witness is her boyfriend or husband, 9 times out of 10 he's the one who did it.

Greg McDaniels
Greg McDaniels

How odd that you focus on racism Robert rather than focusing on the true problem of this story...DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

Lisa A McGee
Lisa A McGee

It's really not, that's so low for a man to hit a woman :(

Emily Minner
Emily Minner

Keep repeating "prison Orange is not my color"

Lisa A McGee
Lisa A McGee

I have never been in an abusive relationship, and I THANK GOD for that because my name would change to inmate 57893567

Robert Ora Lowe
Robert Ora Lowe

How odd, to report on the one fake case of the knockout game while ignoring all the very real cases of the black on white violent knockout game.

j_wonder2001
j_wonder2001

Good for her. I'm pretty sure she probably said the guy was black. Asians are so white washed. Licking white butt so much and got her butt kicked. 

SRiley
SRiley

I'm more worried that the police actually thought a group of thugs walked up to a group of people in front of the Trophy Room, slugged a girl in the face, and got away.   My head cocked to the side like a confused dog when I read this story, and then where it happened(or didn't).  

cgreaves44
cgreaves44

just like when my sister's boyfriend hit her,I beat his sorry ass and he cried like a baby just like all guys who beat women,cowards every one of them.

Jodi Fox
Jodi Fox

She needs punched in the other eye!

Vladimer Lapunksky
Vladimer Lapunksky

The comments on this article contribute to the reason why victims of domestic abuse don't come forward, don't file police reports, and make up stories for why they are battered and bruised when someone asks. Maybe she made the story up because this isn't the first time he's hit her. Maybe she made the story up because she was afraid. Maybe she made the story up because HE made her. Also, for those inquiring minds that want to know 'Why would SHE let him do this to her?' That's really not the question you should be asking. You should be asking: 'What type of society have we created where HE thinks it's okay to treat another human being like this?'

wvbl
wvbl

"That's resources that could have been spent on other crimes, and it damaged the perception of the city." ...as Peace Officers... should they be looking for Peace? Why are they looking for crimes? They're not Crime Officers.

Wes Slocum
Wes Slocum

Hope they both get charges and jail time for that bullshit!

Robert Tillman
Robert Tillman

He needs to be arrested and charged with assault and she needs to be arrested for lying and filing a bogus police report

Ellen Reed
Ellen Reed

So is HE being charged with a domestic assault?

Greg McDaniels
Greg McDaniels

How is this victim blame? She covered up the story for her boyfriend and told the police it was a black guy? That's lying to the authorities and covering up a crime. She should have just left him and filed a police report

Tara Daniels
Tara Daniels

Maybe now we can focus on the true villains: abusers.

Tara Daniels
Tara Daniels

Huh...so hordes of young black men aren't roaming the streets beating up white people? *rolls eyes at the "concerned" readers and the RFT*

kerrilknopp
kerrilknopp

She's a battered woman,she should get out of that relationship but it's always easier from this side to simply say that and I hope they don't get her with as many charges or punishments as they do with the guy who hit her...of course she's going to go along with the lie...look at her eye, she's scared!!!  People lie about domestic abuse all the time, why are they so angry with just her???  The anger should go towards the abuse, not just the lie!!!  Glad I don't live where these officers work - I don't get beat - far from it, but if I needed help I would be in trouble waiting for them to get through all their judgements instead of down to the law!!!  So you spent some money, make him pay back back the majority of it and her the rest of it, not saying she shouldn't get anything out of it because maybe that will lead her to get out of the relationship - if you don't usually break the law and here you are in the public's eye as breaking the law and paying fines and settlement, *might* be enough for her to say "Enough!"  Maybe he's never done it before, and I say "maybe" very lightly but he *will* do it again!

Allison Benoit
Allison Benoit

Not to mention the fear of retaliation. Domestic abusers aren't put away forever. What's to stop him from going to jail, getting out, and coming back to punish her for what she did by telling the police about the abuse? Pretty much nothing.

igotplayedonce
igotplayedonce

How could it be a hate crime if what was filed DIDN'T happen? The term applicable for this situation is domestic violence. 

igotplayedonce
igotplayedonce

Well, it may have helped prevent some innocent teenager that "Fit the profile" from being sent to prison. The pot was stirred when they filed a false police report. 


cwarpspeed
cwarpspeed

How is this a "Society problem"? She lied and he lied. Don't blame society for these idiots... Blame the guilty ones...

kagekarasu
kagekarasu

You can't arrest him for assault unless she chooses to. That's the way it works. That's why so many jackasses are walking around. She does need to go to jail though for filing a false police report and he needs to be arrested for falsifying information and being an accomplice to a crime.

kagekarasu
kagekarasu

Not if she didn't press charges.

cwarpspeed
cwarpspeed

@kagekarasu That is not true. They have laws, that will allow them to arrest the person who assault's another. I mean as in Domestic Violence terms. Since OJ trial, many laws were written to do just that. Arrest the criminal, even if the dummy doesn't want him arrested...

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