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State Senator Proposes Making It Felony To Assault Referee

LANSING (AP) - A state senator is sponsoring legislation to make it a felony to assault a referee or other official at a sporting event.

Detroit Democrat Morris Hood III says he decided to propose the law after referees in southeastern Michigan approached him in the aftermath of the killing of soccer referee John Bieniewicz at a game in Livonia.

Bassel Saad faces a murder trial starting Feb. 23.

Hood tells the Detroit Free Press  that the referees reported being followed into parking lots and harassed during games.

The bill would make assaulting a referee a felony punishable by up to three years' imprisonment.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Rick Jones tells he's open to a new proposal. The Grand Ledge Republican has backed similar legislation as a state House member.

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