Takes a tough guy to punch a 12-year-old boy when he’s not looking.

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) A New York state legislator said it’s time to crack down on the violent “knockout game” in which youths sucker punch innocent bystanders for kicks.

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Schenectady, said Thursday that his bill would make the violent game a gang assault with a sentence of up to 25 years. Youths would be charged as adults.

“They want to be big shots and big men … so they should have a big law to protect the innocent law-abiding citizens,” Tedisco told WCBS 880. “Clearly, these are not young gentlemen — they’re punks, they’re thugs, they’re cowards.” […]

A 12-year-old Jewish boy who was a “knockout” victim two weeks ago told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello in an exclusive interview that he’s more interested in an apology than seeing his attackers go to jail.

The yeshiva student, who is devoutly religious, thinks a mandatory moment of silence in public schools would help.

“I think this could have all been prevented,” said the boy, who asked not to be identified.