*According to local officials in Washington State, after agreeing to accept a punch in the face as settlement for an altercation following a weekend house party, an 18-year-old high school student is dead.
The victim was identified as Jarom Thomas of Lake Stevens, a town approximately 35 miles north of Seattle. Thomas died on Sunday of blunt force injuries to the head, according to a statement by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office on Tuesday.
Homicide was named as the manner of death, according to the medical examiner’s report.
Michael Shane Galen, 18, was placed under arrest late Sunday on a second degree manslaughter charge for landing the fateful blow on Thomas in an apparent altercation over a minor fender bender, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department and court filings.
In an apparent hit-and-run attempt, Thomas had backed his car into a parked vehicle where Galen was sitting earlier on Sunday, before driving away, according to the court documents,. He returned a short time later and the two young men got into an argument, the documents said.
They agreed to “resolve” the issue by allowing Galen to punch Thomas once in the face and shook hands before the fatal strike, according to the documents.
“Witnesses said the suspect punched the victim in the face and the victim fell backwards, unconscious,” the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
But after a friend drove Thomas to the hospital, he died from his injuries, the statement said.
Galen was released from Snohomish County jail on Monday evening after posting $10,000 bond, online records show. It was unclear if he had obtained an attorney.
Galen’s father, Michael Galen Sr., told the Herald newspaper in Everett that agreeing to take a punch is apparently part of a code among young people to settle differences.
“I’m so sorry for the family for what has happened,” he told the newspaper.
Both teens were students at Crossroads High School in Granite Falls, Washington, police said.