Soccer referee critical after head punch from teen

May 3, 2013 at 3:14 PM

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah, May 3 (UPI) -- A referee who was punched in the head by a 17-year-old player during a Utah youth soccer game was in extremely critical condition Friday, doctors said.

Riccardo Portillo, 46, fell into a coma Saturday after being punched in the head when he issued a yellow card to a 17-year-old player during a game in Taylorsville, the (Salt Lake City) Deseret News reported Friday.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said the teenager, who did not use a weapon, was taken to a juvenile detention center and police were considering an aggravated assault charge due to the severity of Portillo's injury.

Dr. Shawn Smith of Intermountain Medical Center said the hit caused bleeding around the blood vessels in one area of Portillo's brain and caused blood loss and edema in another part of his brain.

Portillo was still suffering from swelling in his brain Thursday and was in extremely critical condition.

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