Referee dies after punch from player in adult-league soccer match
A disagreement in an adult-league soccer match has turned into tragedy. John Bieniewicz, 44, a referee in a Detroit-area soccer league, died Tuesday after being punched Sunday by a player, reports the Associated Press.
Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad, a 36-year-old man from Dearborn, Michigan, has been charged with second-degree murder in the attack, according to the Associated Press.
Saad allegedly punched Bieniewicz after the referee threatened to eject a player from the match. It's currently unclear if that was Saad or another player.
A spokesman for Detroit Receiving Hospital and Jim Acho, a longtime friend, confirmed Bieniewicz's death to the AP.
"His friends love him," Acho said, according to the AP. "He lives life to the fullest. Never has a bad day. Ever."
Bieniewicz, who had been a referee for two decades, leaves behind a wife and two sons. A fund is being set up to help pay for funeral expenses and provide for his children's future.