Utah soccer referee dies after allegedly punched by player

May 5, 2013 at 8:11 AM   |   Comments

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.

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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