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Soccer player who killed referee with single punch

 
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Alias_Avi View Drop Down
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    Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 12:24pm

Soccer player 'who killed referee with a single punch' sobs in court as witnesses describe attack on father-of-two

  • Bassel Saad, 36, charged with second-degree murder in Livonia, Michigan for the fatal punch on June 29
  • Saad allegedly punched referee John Bieniewicz after being told he was being ejected from game
  • Bieniewicz, a 44-year-old dialysis tech at a local hospital, was a married father-of-two

By Associated Press

Published: 16:58 EST, 30 July 2014 | Updated: 13:09 EST, 31 July 2014



A soccer referee who was fatally punched by a player during a recreational game in suburban Detroit did not expect the attack, one of the player's teammates testified on Wednesday.

Dr. Jamal Saleh testified during a probable-cause hearing for Bassel Saad, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of referee John Bieniewicz.

The 44-year-old referee 'did not see the punch coming,' said Saleh, who played for Saad's team during the over-30 men's league game at Mies Park in Livonia on June 29. Bieniewicz, a dialysis technician at a local hospital, had a wife and two sons.

Defendant Bassel Saad sobs during a probable-cause hearing on Wednesday afternoon in Livonia, Michigan. Saad is charged with second-degree murder in the death of soccer referee John Bieniewicz
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Defendant Bassel Saad sobs during a probable-cause hearing on Wednesday afternoon in Livonia, Michigan. Saad is charged with second-degree murder in the death of soccer referee John Bieniewicz

John Bieniewicz (pictured), who was punched in the head on June 29 while refereeing an adult-league soccer match in the Detroit-area, died on July 1
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John Bieniewicz (pictured), who was punched in the head on June 29 while refereeing an adult-league soccer match in the Detroit-area, died on July 1

Two players from the opposing team also testified that Saad knocked Bieniewicz to the turf with one punch after the referee indicated he planned to eject Saad from the game.

The punch, which Saleh said landed around the head and neck area, caused Bieniewicz to 'fall back without any control of his body.'

Saleh said he rushed toward Bieniewicz, who was on his back grasping a yellow card in one hand and a red card in the other.

In soccer, a yellow card is held aloft by the referee to caution a player following a foul or other misconduct. A red card is shown by the referee when a player is being thrown out of the game. Two yellow cards given in the same game equal a red card.

Witness Scott Herkes, left, demonstrates with defense attorney Ali Hammoud how he said Bassel Saad punched soccer referee John Bieniewicz, during a court hearing on Wednesday in Livonia, Michigan
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Witness Scott Herkes, left, demonstrates with defense attorney Ali Hammoud how he said Bassel Saad punched soccer referee John Bieniewicz, during a court hearing on Wednesday in Livonia, Michigan

In this case, the players testified that Saad had been issued a yellow card following a foul in the first half, and Bieniewicz was giving him a second yellow for being verbally abusive. That's when he was struck, the three players said.

A skirmish erupted between players following the attack. Saleh said he quickly checked on Bieniewicz and the referee initially was not breathing but had a pulse.

 

Saleh said he performed CPR and told the unconscious Bieniewicz: 'Wake up, buddy. You're going to be OK.'

Player Scott Herkes testified that Saad removed his jersey and left the field with another man as Bieniewicz was being tended to.

Herkes said he followed the men into the parking lot and took down the license plate number of the vehicle in which they left.

Prosecutors showed a photograph in which Saad appeared to be making an obscene gesture while seated in the vehicle.

A man who was punched in the head on June 29 while refereeing an adult-league soccer match in the Detroit-area has died.  John Bieniewicz, who was attacked on Sunday at a park in Livonia, Michigan died at Detroit Receiving Hospital on Tuesday, said hospital spokesman Alton Gunn
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A man who was punched in the head on June 29 while refereeing an adult-league soccer match in the Detroit-area has died. John Bieniewicz, who was attacked on Sunday at a park in Livonia, Michigan died at Detroit Receiving Hospital on Tuesday, said hospital spokesman Alton Gunn

Saad, a 36-year-old auto mechanic from Dearborn, had been charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm before Bieniewicz died on July 1. That charge was formally dropped, and prosecutors issued the murder charge.

The probable-cause hearing in Livonia District Court, which will determine whether to send the case to trial, resumed today.

It ended with Judge Kathleen McCann denying prosecutors' motion to bring up an alleged 2005 incident in which Saad is said to have been involved in an altercation with another player at a soccer game.

Defense lawyer Ali Hammoud said his client's past has nothing to do with this case, and prosecutors' interest in bringing it up shows that 'their case is extremely weak on second-degree murder.'



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hauteshellbi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote hauteshellbi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 12:30pm
He was provoked *shrugs*





Lemme stop being messy...rip to the ref...you never know when your time is up

Hope the player gets a life sentence
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 2:55pm
What an asshole. I understand his anger for being thrown out of the game, but to punch the guy AND leave when the guy wasn't breathing? WTF He has no chance, sob all you want asshole, you will spend a long time in jail.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote JoliePoufiasse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 3:42pm
Originally posted by hauteshellbi hauteshellbi wrote:

He was provoked *shrugs*





Lemme stop being messy...rip to the ref...you never know when your time is up

Hope the player gets a life sentence

Food for thought, ain't it? A man's strength.
And he has an arabic last name. He's screwed. No amount of tears are gonna help him. Life over because he couldn't control his temper in a soccer game. And a recreational one at that. Idiot.


Edited by JoliePoufiasse - Aug 02 2014 at 3:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote creole booty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 3:47pm
I tried to tell mugs that one hit from a man could possibly kill u. That's y they need to practice more restraint.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote JoliePoufiasse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 3:52pm
Originally posted by creole booty creole booty wrote:

I tried to tell mugs that one hit from a man could possibly kill u. That's y they need to practice more restraint.
^

Coulda been that foolish baller's wife. Matter of fact, it might very well be her in a few years. Still can't get over it. First thing she did when she came to from being sprawled out on the elevator floor like an inanimate object was run to the chapel and get hitched? SMH.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote hauteshellbi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 5:32pm
Men don't even have to have super hero strength...the lady that was holding the parking space was knocked unconscious by that skinny guy and hit her head on the sidewalk and had a concussion. But if a woman hits a man she wouldn't knock him on his ass like that but whatever they ain't tryna hear that sht
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote femmemichelle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 6:01pm
Everyone just needs to keep their hands to themselves.....and violent people need to stop expecting the party they're attacking to be reasonable in retaliation.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote india100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 6:23pm
Many Arabic people act like savages . I am sorry , but I live and work with the same type . You want to be called a American , yet continue to act like people in a third world country . I watch the trial from day one . I hope they give him the death penalty or life in prison . Soccer is more like Football in 2014 . A parent at my daughter's school went to jail for assault during a 6 grade soccer game . God will have the last word .

Edited by india100 - Aug 03 2014 at 12:04am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Lite Brite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2014 at 7:27pm
SMH

I'd be willing to bet money the dude is even more angry inside at the ref now, thinking that his call is what caused all this trouble for him
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