DENVER - Police are investigating a serious of assaults that occurred in downtown Denver New Year's Day.
Police say four victims, in three separate incidents, were assaulted at multiple lower downtown locations between the hours of 1:30 a.m. and 2:15 a.m.
A motive for the assaults is not known. Police said they appear random.
One of the victims told police he was the victim of a "knockout game"-style attack.
Nick Lloyd and a friend were waiting for a ride after the ball drop when he was approached by a group of men.
The attackers punched him the face, breaking his jaw and causing facial fractures. He will have undergo surgery this week.
Lloyd said the men did not even try to rob him.
"There's no motivation for it," Lloyd said. "It's just find somebody random who looks like an easy target, hit them as hard as you can and run off."
Police say they don't know if the attacks were inspired by the game, where people brutally attack strangers and try to knock them unconscious.
"We're careful not to speculate, but we don't want to turn a blind eye to something either," DPD spokesperson Sonny Jackson said. "What we want to do is find out what did happen, and we'll call it what it is."
In 2009 and 2011 there were a series of attacks in the downtown Denver area where African-Americans were targeting whites and Hispanics. According to police reports, in the New Year's Day cases, the victims were white men and they reported their attackers were black.
Police said at this point, what happened could have been an anomaly that happened one night and not a trend like was seen in years past.
Denver police are reviewing surveillance video and are asking anyone who may have cell phone video of the attacks to contact them.
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867) or by using the Metro Denver Crime Stoppers mobile app. All tipsters remain anonymous and are eligible for an award of up to $2,000.
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