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LISTEN: 911 call from assault on Michigan soccer referee

Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, was arrested for allegedly punching a soccer referee - who later died - at an adult league match in Livonia, Mich. CBS Detroit

LIVONIA, Mich. - A woman who witnessed an attack on a referee at a Detroit adult league soccer match says on a 911 call that the assailant ran to a car before "peeling out" and fleeing the scene.

[Listen to the 911 call here, courtesy of CBS Detroit]

The referee, 44-year-old John Bieniewicz, died in the hospital on Tuesday, reports CBS Detroit. Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, a 36-year-old Dearborn, Mich., man, is charged in the attack.

Police released the emergency call that was placed Sunday from the site of a game at Mies Park in Livonia, 15 miles northwest of downtown Detroit.

On the call, the unnamed woman tells a dispatcher: "We have somebody who just assaulted a referee... The referee is knocked out. He's not waking up."

The woman said CPR was being performed on the referee, who was not breathing.

She said the man punched the referee with his fist, then took off in a Jeep with "a huge Brazil flag" on it. Police said Saad was not at the scene when officers arrived but later turned himself in, according to the station. It is alleged that the suspect became upset and punched Bieniewicz in the head after the ref indicated he would eject him from the match.

Saad was arraigned Monday on a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, CBS Detroit reports. That charge is expected to be amended following Bieniewicz's death.

Meanwhile, two memorial funds have been set up for the victim's family.

  • Crimesider Staff

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