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Soccer referee punched by player in Utah dies

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A Salt Lake City soccer referee died Saturday after he was punched in the face by a teenage player during a game and later slipped into a coma.

Ricardo Portillo, 46, died at the hospital where he was being treated following the alleged assault April 27, Unified police spokesman Justin Hoyal said Saturday night.

A 17-year-old player in a recreational soccer league reportedly punched Mr. Portillo after the referee called a foul on him, Delaware Online reports.

"The suspect was close to Portillo and punched him once in the face as a result of the call," Mr. Hoyal said in a press release. The name of the teen hasn't been released because of his age.

The suspect is in juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault and is awaiting additional charges now that the victim has died, Mr. Hoyal said.

No cause of Mr. Portillo's death was released, but an autopsy is planned, the spokesman said.

According to Dr. Shawn Smith at the Intermountain Medical Center, the victim was admitted in fair condition but quickly slipped into a coma. He suffered swelling in his brain and was listed in critical condition on Thursday, before dying on Saturday.

 

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