Teen boy, 15, accused of choking four students during knockout challenge
Authorities arrested a 15-year-old boy accused of causing four students to become unconscious while playing the “choking game.” His apprehension was ordered by the Public Prosecution Service (OM) in Amsterdam earlier this month.
The dangerous game is also known as the “knockout challenge.” Pressure is applied to a participant’s carotid artery, which can cause lucid dreaming or hallucinations. The OM said that “young people at home and abroad” have died as the result of playing the choking game.
The suspect placed each of the four in a stranglehold, the OM’s child prosecution department said. They then “briefly lost consciousness.” Video footage of the incident was captured by a school’s closed circuit television system.
A court suspended the teen’s pre-trial detention on Wednesday. The decision was not challenged by the prosecutor, who believes the child’s release and behavioral development is in the best interests of both the boy and society as a whole.
“Teenagers have died as a result of the wrong ending of the strangle game. In addition, serious physical injury can occur because, for example, there is an oxygen deficiency in the brain, with all its consequences. In addition, the lack of oxygen can cause spasms or cause a person to pass out and then fall down unhappily. The consequences of this 'stitch game' can haunt you for the rest of your life”
The death of Tim Reynders, a 16-year-old boy from Arkel, brought the issue to the forefront in the Netherlands when he was found dead following the May vacation period in 2017. His parents returned home with his sister to find the teenager's body. The belt he used to strangle himself was still wrapped around his neck. Reynders had filmed his participation in the knockout challenge with his mobile phone. The footage was discovered during the investigation into his death.
A year later, Clay Haime died while taking part in a choking game, friends of the 15 year old from The Hague said at the time. He was found unresponsive on 18 May 2018, and died the following day.
The choking game received more attention recently after the death of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee in the United Kingdom. The young boy was found unconscious on 7 April, and attempts to revive him failed. Though his medical team said he brainstem dead with no hope of recovery, he was kept alive on life support in a hospital against their wishes following legal challenges from the family. He died on 6 August after the courts ruled against the boy’s family for the final time.