Detroit soccer referee dies after punch from player

Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, was charged on Monday with assault with intent to do great bodily harm....

Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, was charged on Monday with assault with intent to do great bodily harm. (Photo courtesy: Livonia Police Department)

David Bailey, REUTERS

, Last Updated: 1:11 PM ET

A soccer referee who was punched in the head by a player during a weekend game in a Detroit suburb has died, police said on Tuesday.

John Bieniewicz, 44, was about to eject a player from a recreational game at a park in Livonia, Michigan, on Sunday when he was hit and critically injured, police said.

Bieniewicz, who was a resident of Westland, a suburb next to Livonia, died Tuesday morning at Detroit Medical Center, Livonia police said. They released no other details.

Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, was charged on Monday with assault with intent to do great bodily harm by Wayne County prosecutors. His bond was set at $500,000 in a court appearance on Monday. A preliminary examination was set for July 10.

Police said several people saw the player throw the punch during the game.


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