Soccer referees come to pay tribute to a fallen brother - FOX 32 News Chicago

Soccer referees come to pay tribute to a fallen brother

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  • The death of a soccer refMore>>

  • Witnesses describe punch that killed soccer ref, say suspect has been violent before

    Witnesses describe punch that killed soccer ref, say suspect has been violent before

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:57:23 GMT
    More details emerged from 16th District Court about what happened on the soccer field the day that referee John Bieniewicz died, allegedly from a punch to the neck by Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad. Testimony was heard through the eyes of four witnesses, three players including two on the opposing team, one teammate of Saad and a police officer. According to court testimony, Saad has gotten violent before on the soccer field.Wiping away tears, 36-year-old Saad, facing a judge on second-degree murder ...
    More details emerged from 16th District Court about what happened on the soccer field the day that referee John Bieniewicz died, allegedly from a punch to the neck by Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad. Testimony was heard through the eyes of four witnesses, three players including two on the opposing team, one teammate of Saad and a police officer. According to court testimony, Saad has gotten violent before on the soccer field.Wiping away tears, 36-year-old Saad, facing a judge on second-degree murder ...
  • Death of Michigan soccer referee raises medical questions

    Death of Michigan soccer referee raises medical questions

    Friday, July 11 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-07-11 13:56:47 GMT
     Violence is never the answer. A single punch can kill in any circumstance -- we know this, it has been well-publicized," she said. "It is no longer an excuse for an individual to say that they didn't know a single punch could kill."
     Violence is never the answer. A single punch can kill in any circumstance -- we know this, it has been well-publicized," she said. "It is no longer an excuse for an individual to say that they didn't know a single punch could kill."
  • Man charged in death of soccer referee arraigned on murder charges, $1M bond set

    Man charged in death of soccer referee arraigned on murder charges, $1M bond set

    Thursday, July 10 2014 10:25 AM EDT2014-07-10 14:25:36 GMT
    Bassel Abdul-Amir SaadBassel Abdul-Amir Saad
    A Dearborn soccer player accused of killing a referee with a punch to the neck is scheduled to appear in court. Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad is charged with second-degree murder. Saad initially was charged with assault. Prosecutors amended the charge after John Bieniewicz died.
    A Dearborn soccer player accused of killing a referee with a punch to the neck is scheduled to appear in court. Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad is charged with second-degree murder. Saad initially was charged with assault. Prosecutors amended the charge after John Bieniewicz died.
LIVONIA, Mich. (WJBK) - Two by two they walked into the funeral home, marching home toward their fallen brother, a fellow referee who was tragically killed during a recreational adult soccer match.

44-year-old John Bieniewicz, a father of two, died from injuries sustained from a punch in the neck by player who was allegedly angry about being ejected from the game.

36-year-old Baseel Saad was charged with assault with intent to great bodily harm.  The charge was levied before Bieniewicz died and they could be changed to manslaughter.

Fellow referees say dealing with angry players and high strung parents can be dangerous.

Referees across the state of Michigan are looking at new regulations to better protect the refs and the players.

There is a fund set up for the Bieniewicz family at Huntington Bank.  You can drop off your donation at the Livonia Police station.

Play the video to get a full report from Fox 2's Maurielle Lue.
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