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Man kills stranger with single punch at Polk County bar, deputies say

'I knocked him the (expletive) out,' suspect says

Shane Barrington

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – In what deputies called an unprovoked attack, a man delivered a single fatal punch to a stranger at a Central Florida bar, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said 54-year-old William Forrester went to Bowling Green Bar on U.S. Highway 17 South on June 22 to drop off some food for a friend who was there. Shane Barrington, 35, approached him and punched him in the face, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head on the floor, the report said.

The impact knocked Forrester unconscious.

"I knocked him the (expletive) out; you don't know the whole story,"  Barrington told deputies, according to a news release.

Witnesses said the attack was unprovoked and it's unlikely that Forrester and Barrington knew each other, according to a news release.

Forrester was taken to an area hospital, where he died on June 27 as a result of the head injury.

"This was a senseless act of violence that resulted in the death of Mr. Forrester. Our sympathies, thoughts, and prayers are with his family and friends. We are holding Shane Barrington accountable for his actions," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Barrington was initially arrested on a charge of aggravated battery causing serious bodily harm. He has since been rearrrested on a manslaughter charge.


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