Dearborn man charged after soccer referee critically hurt during

Dearborn man charged after soccer referee critically hurt during game

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Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad is accused of punching a referee in the head during a soccer match. The referee has since died. Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad is accused of punching a referee in the head during a soccer match. The referee has since died.
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     Violence is never the answer. A single punch can kill in any circumstance -- we know this, it has been well-publicized," she said. "It is no longer an excuse for an individual to say that they didn't know a single punch could kill."
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    Bassel Abdul-Amir SaadBassel Abdul-Amir Saad
    A Dearborn soccer player accused of killing a referee with a punch to the neck is scheduled to appear in court. Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad is charged with second-degree murder. Saad initially was charged with assault. Prosecutors amended the charge after John Bieniewicz died.
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LIVONIA, Mich. (WJBK) - A Dearborn man has been charged after a referee was critically injured during an adult soccer match.

Authorities say Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, was playing in a soccer match June 29 when the referee determined Saad would be ejected from the game.

Saad is alleged to have become upset and punched the referee in the head.

Livonia police say the referee was unconscious when officers arrived at Mies Park in Livonia Sunday afternoon. The referee was immediately transported to a local hospital to receive treatment.

Fox 2's Randy Wimbley reports the victim is still in critical condition. Police say the man suffered a head injury after falling.

Joseph Cosenza, an opposing player, says Saad had left the park by the time police arrived.

"He got away, took off with one of his buddies, jumped in their car. ... A couple of our players were able to take pictures of the car and the license plate. Took off. The cops found the car and the driver," he says.

VIDEO: Click on the video in the video player above to hear more from the witness in a report from Fox 2's Randy Wimbley

Saad has been charged with Assault with Intent to Do Great Bodily Harm and was arraigned Monday afternoon in 16th District Court in Livonia. If convicted, he could spend 10 years in prison.

Saad received a $500,000 cash/surety bond and a preliminary examination date is set for July 10, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. 

Wimbley reports Saad's soccer team has been kicked out of the league.
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