Spanish police officer allegedly beats ref

Feb. 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

VALENCIA, Spain, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A Spanish National Police officer has been suspended after he allegedly assaulted a teenage soccer referee, beating him so badly he lost his spleen.

The officer, identified only as Alberto M.M., was off duty and playing for the visiting team in a regional match Sunday in Valencia, ThinkSpain reported. Witnesses said he called the referee, Hector G.T., "sub-normal," after the 17-year-old called a foul and sent Alberto, 27, to the sidelines.

Witnesses disagree about the intensity of the violence in the attack, with some saying Alberto kicked Hector once in the ribs while others say the teenager was repeatedly pummeled.

Hector was taken to Arnau Hospital in Vilanova after he passed out. Doctors removed his spleen after discovering it had been ruptured.

Hector says he plans to give up refereeing.

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