SANTA MONICA —Authorities from the Santa Monica Police Department are indicating that the death of 12-year-old Erik Robinson, a student at Lincoln Middle School, was an accidental death. Robinson’s death is a result of the juvenile engaging in “The Choking Game.” Sgt. Jay Trisler of the SMPD spoke to Canyon News about the incident that occurred on Tuesday, April 20. He indicated that officials received a call at approximately 5:08 p.m. of a medical emergency on the 800 block of 18th street.

“Upon arrival, officers discovered a 12-year-old white male who was in full cardiac arrest. The juvenile was transported to a local hospital,” stated a press release from the SMPD. “Our investigation has not shown anyone else at the home at the time of the incident,” stated Sgt. Jay Trisler.

On Thursday, April 22, at 12 a.m. the victim was taken off life support and later pronounced deceased. “This is the first incident that has occurred in our city, but numerous incidents have occurred in other cities across the nation,” said Sgt. Trisler. Back in October 2005, a Tarzana student was killed when she attempted to play “The Choking Game.”

“The Choking Game” also known as the “Fainting Game,” “Blackout” and “Rocket Slide” is a dangerous game that has become popular among adolescents across the nation. The object of the game is asphyxiation, which is obtained by the individual either using a rope or a belt around the neck to shut-off blood circulation and oxygen flow to the brain creating a sense of euphoria. The game is sometimes played in pairs or alone. A few warning signs parents should be on the lookout for include a child keeping a rope in their bedroom or plastic bags, blood shot eyes, headaches or marks around the neck.

When Canyon News asked Sgt. Trisler how important it is for parents to inform their children about the dangers of “The Choking Game” he responded, “Communication with kids is imperative and important.  Parents should talk about everything with their kids including drugs. Open communication between parent and child is the key.” He added that the child must be comfortable speaking to the parent as well.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District released a letter to parents calling Erik’s death a “tragic accident.” Robinson had aspirations of joining the military and becoming a police officer. He was also a Boy Scout. A memorial was held for the victim on Thursday, April 29, at a synagogue in Pacific Palisades where family and friends gathered to pay their respects.