Sunday, 5 May 2013

US referee dies after assault by teenage player

A recreational league soccer referee, 46, who was critically injured and in a coma after being punched by a teenage player during a game died last night, US police said.

Police have accused a 17-year-old player in a recreational soccer league of punching Mr Portillo after the man called a foul on him and issued him with a yellow card.

According to a police report, the trouble began April 27 at a youth match at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorville. As players jostled for position, Portillo saw the goalkeeper push an opponent with his hands.

Portillo lifted his "Yellow Card," issuing a warning to the 17-year-old boy. He then began writing the infraction in his official’s notebook.

According to the police report, Portillo probably never saw the blow coming — a powerful punch to the head.

Feeling dizzy, Portillo sat down and began vomiting blood.

"He was laying on the ground, on his left side in a fetal position," Officer Jason Huggard wrote. "Ricardo was complaining of pain in his face, back and being nauseated. ... He had spit up a small amount of blood in his saliva."

Portillo died at 9:33 p.m. at Intermountain Medical Center, according to the news release

"Formal charges will be screened early next week with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office," the press release said. "Since Portillo has passed away additional charges will be screened in connection with his death."

The teenager has been booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault.

He said an autopsy is planned.

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