Police: Referee injured Sunday during soccer match in Livonia ha - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Police: Referee injured Sunday during soccer match in Livonia has died

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Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad is accused of punching a referee in the head during a soccer match. The referee has since died. Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad is accused of punching a referee in the head during a soccer match. The referee has since died.
A photo of John Bieniewicz. A photo of John Bieniewicz.
LIVONIA, Mich (WJBK) -- Livonia Police say the referee who was punched during a soccer match Sunday has died from his injuries.

John Bieniewicz of Westland died Tuesday morning just after 10:30 a.m. at Detroit Receiving Hospital, said hospital spokesman Alton Gunn and the man's longtime friend Jim Ancho. The Livonia Police Department issued a statement late Tuesday morning offering their sympathy to his family.

Bieniewicz, 44, was a dialysis technician at Mott Children's Hospital who lived in Westland with his wife and two sons, said Acho, who was a classmate of Bieniewicz's at Catholic Central High School.

"I speak for all his friends when I say we are devastated. Crushed. Just a senseless way for a great guy to go out," Acho said. "He deserved better."

Authorities charged Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, a 10 year felony. He was arraigned Monday afternoon. The charges in this case may be updated following Bieniewicz's death.

Saad was playing in a soccer match June 29 when the referee determined Saad would be ejected from the game.

Saad is alleged to have become upset and punched the referee in the head.

Livonia police say the referee was unconscious when officers arrived at Mies Park in Livonia Sunday afternoon. The referee was immediately transported to a local hospital to receive treatment.

Police say the man suffered a head injury after falling and died from his injuries.

Joseph Cosenza, an opposing player, says Saad was gone by the time police arrived.

"He got away, took off with one of his buddies, jumped in their car. ... A couple of our players were able to take pictures of the car and the license plate. Took off. The cops found the car and the driver," he says.

FOX 2's Randy Wimbley reports Saad's soccer team has been kicked out of the league. John Bieniewicz's family has set up a website to offset funeral expenses.

John Bieniewicz's family has set up a website to offset funeral expenses. You can also contribute to the Bieniewicz's family fund at any Huntington Bank branch or at the Livonia police station.

MORE: JohnBieniewiczMemorial.com


Copyright 2014 by myFOXDetroit.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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