Johnson City police looking for public's help in downtown assault case

Becky Campbell • Feb 21, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Johnson City police investigators still need the public’s help with leads in a downtown assault that left a man seriously injured earlier this month.

“We’ve got bits and pieces but that’s it,” said JCPD Lt. Steve Sherfey.

The assault happened around 3 a.m. Feb. 9 at the State of Franklin pedestrian crosswalk between the Downtown Square and Cherry Street parking lots.

Matthew Brookshire, 21, of Bristol, Tenn., was knocked unconscious in the attack and left on the ground bleeding. According to a police report on the incident, no one actually saw Brookshire attacked, but several people came into the area after he was already on the ground.

But investigators believe someone likely did see something that could lead to an arrest.

“Somebody had to see something,” Sherfey said. “It was around about the time clubs were letting out.”

Sherfey also down played the idea that Brookshire’s attack was part of what’s called the Knockout game.

A woman who came upon Brookshire told the Press that others gathered around the victim talked about the attack being similar to the so-called game.

Knockout is reportedly when one or more assailants try to knock out an unsuspecting person with a single sucker punch. Police have not confirmed any information about the assault being a result of Knockout.

“We haven’t been able to determine that it’s Knockout,” Sherfey said. “It may be. We can’t rule it out right now.”

To encourage anyone with information that would lead to an arrest in the case the police department is offering a reward through Crimestoppers.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to contact the Johnson City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division at 423-434-6166, Crimestoppers at 423-434-6158, or anonymous tips can be submitted by texting 423JCPD and your tip to 847411 (TIP411) or to submit via the internet at www.citizen observer.com.

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