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Witness Says Man Ran Off After Punching Soccer Ref Who Later Died

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LIVONIA (WWJ/AP) – A woman who witnessed a fatal attack on a referee at a metro Detroit adult league soccer match says on a 911 call that the assailant ran to a car before “peeling out.”

Livonia police released the emergency call that was placed Sunday from the site of a game at Mies Park on West Chicago Road.

On it, the unnamed woman told a dispatcher: “We have somebody who just assaulted a referee…The referee is knocked out. He’s not waking up.”

[LISTEN TO THE 911 CALL]

Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad (credit: Wayne County Prosecutor's Office)

Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad (credit: Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office)

The woman said CPR was being performed on the referee, who was not breathing.

She said the man punched the referee “with his fist,” then took off in a Jeep with “a huge Brazil flag” on it. The referee, 44-year-old John Bieniewicz, died in the hospital on Tuesday.

Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, of Dearborn, has been charged in the attack.  Police said he wasn’t at the scene when authorities arrived, but turned him self in later on.

It’s alleged that Saad became upset and punched Bieniewicz in the head after the ref indicated he would eject him from the game.

Saad was arraigned Monday on a charge of  assault with intent to do great bodily harm; but that charge was expected to be amended following Bieniewicz’s death.

Two memorial funds have been set up for Bieniewicz’s family. Get more information HERE.

MORE: Referee Punched During Adult-League Soccer Game Dies

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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