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Utah soccer referee dies after allegedly punched by player

May 5, 2013 at 8:11 AM

MURRAY, Utah, May 5 (UPI) -- A Utah soccer referee died after spending a week in a coma allegedly brought on by a punch from a 17-year-old goalie during a match, officials said.

Ricardo Portillo, 46, died Saturday night at the Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

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The incident leading to Portillo being hospitalized happened April 27 at a youth soccer game at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorville, police said.

Police said that during the game, Portillo issued a yellow warning flag to the goalie for pushing an opponent. The 17-year-old goalie then allegedly punched Portillo in the head.

After being punched, Portillo began to feel dizzy, and sat down on the ground and started vomiting blood, a police report said.

"He was laying on the ground, on his left side in a fetal position," officer Jason Huggard wrote in the police report. "Ricardo was complaining of pain in his face, back and [of] being nauseated ... . He had spit up a small amount of blood in his saliva."

The teenager who allegedly punched Portillo was arrested at the scene and was being held at a juvenile detention facility, police said.

"Formal charges will be screened early next week with the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office," a Unified Police Department press release said. "Since Portillo has passed away additional charges will be screened in connection with his death."

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