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Man dies two weeks after massive brawl at California soccer match

Misael Sanchez, 29, was left unconscious after the fight at Oxnard High School. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday to determine his cause of death.
Oxnard Police Department
The Oxnard Police Department in Oxnard, Calif.Google Maps

A California man who was beaten and left unconscious during a massive brawl at a soccer game more than two weeks ago has died, police said.

Misael Sanchez, 29, of Port Hueneme, was hospitalized July 10 "after he was involved in a large soccer fight that included players from both teams and spectators," Oxnard police said in a statement.

Sanchez died Monday. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday to find the cause of death.

Sanchez was roughed up during the July 10 melee, but it wasn't immediately clear whether those injuries caused him to lose consciousness. Sanchez had no obvious wounds when first responders got to him, Oxnard Police Cmdr. Alex Arnett said Tuesday.

"The autopsy is really going help us determine whether or not there was criminal conduct," Arnett said.

"We understand that there was a fight on the field. We understand the victim was a participant in the fight. But we can't say [right now whether] the fight is what resulted in the victim's death."

A 46-year-old man was initially arrested in connection with the assault on Sanchez, but prosecutors kicked the case back to police for more investigation.

There were 100 to 200 people, players and fans at the game, Arnett said. The adult soccer league is privately organized and not funded by either the city or the school district, police said.

Detectives are asking for witnesses or anyone who may have video of the brawl that broke out at the school, which is about 70 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Police also set up a portal for anyone to anonymously upload video of the incident.

"During the initial police investigation, witnesses assisted police officers in identifying a suspect. However, additional information and evidence are needed to determine how the assault occurred and identify persons that were involved," police said in a statement last week.

"Detectives believe there were spectators in the stands, players from both teams, and other persons at the soccer game who witnessed the fight. Detectives also believe that persons may have video recorded the fight."

The brawl erupted after an official's call angered both sides.

"The fight occurred when the two teams disagreed with a referee’s decision," police said a day after the match. "Sanchez was on the field playing soccer for one of the two teams when the fight broke out. During the fight, Sanchez was assaulted by multiple assailants."