Westland Soccer Referee Dies After Being Punched in the Head

A soccer referee died Tuesday at Detroit Receiving Hospital after being punched in the head by a player during a game over the weekend.

As the Detroit News reports, John Bieniewicz, 44, of Westland was brutally attacked after ejecting a player at Mies Park in Livonia on Sunday. According to the 911 call, the alleged attacker fled the scene with another male.

“We have somebody who just assaulted a referee,” a woman can be heard saying on the 911 audio. “I’m at a soccer game, and right now, they are running to their car."

Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad of Dearborn, was initially charged Monday with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. Saad is now expected to be charged with homicide by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Livonia Police Department

Livonia Police Department

Saad's defense attorney Brian T. Berry said his client was not the aggressor in the incident. “The facts of the case have been mischaracterized, As tragic as this event is, we must keep our minds open until all the facts are in.”

Bieniewicz's vital organs will be harvested and donated through the Gift of Life program this week, according to family friend Jim Acho.

COMMENT ON THIS