Utah Referee Punched by Player, Ricardo Portillo, Dies at 46

A 46-year-old recreational league soccer referee who was punched by a teenage player and slipped into a coma has died.

During a game last week, Ricardo Portillo called a foul on a 17-year-old player and issued a yellow card. The player took exception to the call and punched Portillo in the face.

"The suspect was close to Portillo and punched him once in the face as a result of the call," said Justin Hoyal a police spokesman in a press release.

The teenager was playing goalie during a game at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville when Portillo issued him a yellow card for pushing an opposing forward trying to score a goal. A yellow card is given as a warning in soccer for a violation of the rules.

The player, who was reportedly larger in stature than Portillo, then punched him in the face.

There was no immediate sign of trauma after the punch landed. But eventually, Portillo began feeling dizzy and sat down. He then began vomiting blood and an ambulance was called to the scene.

The teen has been booked into a juvenile detention center on suspicion of aggravated assault. Authorities will consider additional charges now that Portillo has died.

Sources: ABCNews, CNN


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