Ricardo Portillo, Soccer Referee, Dies One Week After Player Punched Him In Face
Ricardo Portillo, 46, was refereeing a soccer game in Salt Lake City when he was punched by a player who didn't like one of his calls. A week later, Portillo has died from his injuries, reported CBS.
Portillo had enraged the 17-year-old recreational soccer player when he called a foul on him and subsequently issued him a yellow card. After the teenager continued to argue with him while on the Eisenhower Junior High School field in Taylorsville, Utah, he punched him in the face.
Although Portillo initially seemed as though he was okay, he soon complained of feeling dizzy and needed to be held up, according to police. Then Portillo sat down and proceeded to vomit up blood, alarming his friends who then called for an ambulance. Portillo slipped into a coma due to brain swelling after arriving at the area hospital. After spending a week in the coma, Portillo died on Saturday. No official cause of death has been revealed, as an autopsy is pending.
Nearly 100 friends and family members of the late referee congregated outside of his house in Salt Lake City for a candlelight vigil on Sunday night. Speaking at the vigil, Portillo's daughter Johana spoke about forgiving the soccer player who punched him. "I will, but not today; it's too soon," she said, according to Newsday. "He was a father, he was a friend, he was a grandfather; he left a whole family behind. They should think before they do something stupid."
The unnamed teenage soccer player was booked for aggravated assault at a juvenile detention center following the incident last week. Now that Portillo has died, it is possible that law enforcement will consider booking the young man on additional charges.