Soccer referee dies after he’s attacked during game in Livonia

John BieniewiczAn adult soccer game in Livonia turned deadly after one of the players fatally attacked the referee.

John Bieniewicz, 44, of Westland, died today after he was punched by a player during the game Sunday afternoon.
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Police said Bieniewicz ejected Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, from the game. Saad responded by punching Bieniewicz in the head, witnesses said.

Bieniewicz, who was married with two young sons, was unconscious when police and paramedics arrived at the park near the 32000 block of West Chicago.

He died at Detroit Receiving Hospital today.

Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, of Dearborn
Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, of Dearborn

Before Bieniewicz died, Saad was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder charge.

“The charges will be reviewed and amended when appropriate confirmations are made and other necessary documentation is received,” Wayne County Prosecutor spokeswoman Maria Miller said.

Friends said Bieniewicz refereed soccer games for at least the past 15 years. He also worked in pediatric chronic dialysis care at Mott Children’s Hospital.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

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