HEIDELBERG, Germany — A soldier is facing possible manslaughter charges after a dispute outside Patrick Henry Village’s bowling center last weekend left a retired soldier dead, authorities said Monday.

Donald Jones, 55, died Sunday at University Hospital in Heidelberg after, authorities said, being punched and falling to the pavement on the bowling center’s patio early Saturday. Jones was identified by Heidelberg garrison officials.

Jones, who lived in St. Leon Rot, had been a regular Friday night dominoes player, said a center employee who declined to be identified, and had not previously been involved in altercations.

The soldier, identified by the Heidelberg garrison’s provost marshal office as Spc. Douglas Reeves, 22, was there to bowl, the employee said. Reeves was assigned to Company B, AFNORTH.

“We have no idea what started it,” the employee said. “It was basically one punch. They both had been drinking.”

It appeared that Jones hit his head either on a table or the concrete, the employee said.

Heidelberg police spokesman Harald Kurzer said that a German emergency doctor called to the scene shortly after midnight on Friday found the victim unresponsive but that he managed to restore the man’s vital signs. The man died Sunday afternoon, Kurzer said.

The doctor alerted German police, Kurzer said, and the soldier, who was apparently being held by military police, was taken into German police custody.

Kurzer said the case could be prosecuted as manslaughter but that jurisdiction likely would be handed over to U.S. military authorities.

The bowling center is open until 3 a.m. on weekends, the employee said, with a robust bar business with anywhere from 50 to 100 patrons.

“We have scuffles in here but nothing like that,” he said.

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Nancy is an Italy-based reporter for Stars and Stripes who writes about military health, legal and social issues. An upstate New York native who served three years in the U.S. Army before graduating from the University of Arizona, she previously worked at The Anchorage Daily News and The Seattle Times. Over her nearly 40-year journalism career she’s won several regional and national awards for her stories and was part of a newsroom-wide team at the Anchorage Daily News that was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

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