SANTA MONICA, Calif. (CBS/AP) Twelve-year-old Erik Robinson from Santa Monica died after he asphyxiated himself for thrills while playing the "choking game," say police.
Santa Monica Police say the young boy was found in full cardiac arrest on April 20 at his home. He was pronounced dead at a hospital two days later.
Police Sgt. Jay Trisler says the boy tied a rope to his neck and attached it to a device. The rope didn't break free and the boy ended up cutting the blood supply and oxygen to his brain. Unfortunately, Erik was alone at the time.
The "Choking Game" is not a new phenomenon. It has been attracting, injuring, and killing teens for generations, reports The Dangerous Behaviors Foundation. The goal of the game is to cut the blood supply and oxygen to the brain to cause a quick, exhilarating high.
When "played" with others, the game carries risks of seizure, memory loss, broken bones, concussions, and potentially death. Playing alone drastically increases the likelihood of severe permanent brain damage and death. However, many teens are unaware of these risk factors and continue to believe that there are no dangers associated with the "choking game" and that "it's just like fainting," according The DB Foundation.
Santa Monica Police say Erik's death is being investigated as an accident.