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.”
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.
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