Punched Soccer Referee's Death Ruled Homicide: Autopsy

The local medical examiner says a referee who died after being punched during a soccer game near Detroit was killed during a homicide.

The Wayne County medical examiner's office says an autopsy was conducted Thursday on 44-year-old John Bieniewicz (BEN'-uh-wits). Office spokeswoman Mary Mazur says the autopsy determined he died from blunt force trauma to the neck.

Police say 36-year-old Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad threw the punch during an adult-league soccer game Sunday in Livonia, a Detroit suburb. Bieniewicz, who lived in nearby Westland, died two days later.

Prosecutors have charged Saad with assault with intent to do great bodily harm. But they say the charges against the Dearborn man are being reviewed and could be amended in light of Bieniewicz's death.

Saad's attorney says his client is innocent.

Image: Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad
An undated photo provided by the Livonia Police Department is of Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad. Saad, a Detroit-area soccer player who police say critically injured a referee by punching him during a match June 29, has surrendered to face a felony assault charge. Livonia Police Department via AP


- The Associated Press