LIVONIA, Mich. -

The referee of an adult soccer game at a Livonia park has died after being punched in the head by a player.

John Bieniewicz, 44, died overnight at a hospital, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's office. Police said he was knocked unconscious during a game Sunday at Mies Park. He was in critical condition until he died early Tuesday morning.

Bieniewicz was a dialysis technician at University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital who lived in Westland with his wife and two sons.

Bassel Saad, 36, of Dearborn, is charged in the attack. He is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.

Joe Cosenza was playing in the game when the referee ejected Saad.

Read back: Soccer referee in critical condition after being punched

Community remembers beloved soccer referee

CHARGED. REPORTING FROM ROSEVILLE, I'M PRIYA MANN, LOCAL 4. Carmen: HE WAS A HUSBAND AND A FATHER, DOING WHAT HE LOVED, UNTIL AN ATTACK ON THE FIELD COST HIM HIS LIFE. Devin: JOHN BIENIEWICZ DIED AFTER BEING SUCKER PUNCHED BY A PLAYER DURING A GAME. WE'LL TALK TO DR. McGEORGE HOW ONE PUNCH CAN BE SO DEADLY. Carmen: BUT FIRST, LET'S GO TO ROGER WEBER WITH HOW HIS FELLOW REFEREES AND COMMUNITY ARE REMEMBERING HIM TONIGHT. Roger: JOHN BIENIEWICZ WAS GREATLY RESPECTED IN THE SOCCER COMMUNITY. FELLOW REFEREES ARE TAKING THIS SENSELESS TRAGEDY VERY HARD. JOHN BIENIEWICZ MADE A STRONG POSITIVE IMPRESSION IN THE SOCCER COMMUNITY, ESPECIALLY AT HIGH VELOCITY SPORTS IN CANTON AND REFEREED HERE DURING THE WINTER MONTHS DURING THE LAST 8 YEARS. HE WOULD COME TOERL TALK SOCCER. Roger: HE WOULD REFEREE UP TO FIVE GAMES A DAY, WHICH IS LIKE RUNNING A MARATHON. HE WAS ASSIGNED TO THE HIGHEST LEVEL GAMES AND HE SOMETIMES REFEREED WITH HIM. JOHN HAD GREAT CHARACTER AND HE WAS A PHENOMENAL REFEREE, AN EXCELLENT REFEREE. Roger: ON SUNDAY, HE WAS ABOUT TO PULL A RED CARD FROM HIS POCKET, EJECTING A PLAYER, WHO THEN SUCKER PUNCHED HIM. THE HUSBAND AND FATHER OF TWO DIED TODAY. POLICE HAVE CHARGED 36-YEAR-OLD BASEEL SAAD. AND IT'S REALLY, REALLY HARD BECAUSE NOT ONLY DID I LOSE A GREAT REFEREE, BUT I LOST A GREAT FRIEND. Roger: 10,000 TO 15,000 PEOPLE REFEREE SOCCER GAMES IN MICHIGAN AND HE HOPES THAT PEOPLE WILL REMEMBER THEY'RE DOING A DIFFICULT JOB AS BEST THEY CAN. THEY HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, IT'S JUST A GAME! IT'S JUST A GAME! IT'S REALLY NOT NECESSARY TO DISAGREE WITH THE REFEREE. TAKE THE CALL ON MOVE ON. Roger: ASSAULT CHARGES AGAINST THE DEFENDANT ARE GOING TO BE UPGRADED NOW THAT JOHN HAS DIED. A MEMORIAL FUND HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED TO HELP HIS FAMILY. YOU CAN GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THAT ON CLICKONDETROIT.COM. REPORTING LIVE FROM LIVONIA, ROGER WEBER, LOCAL 4. Devin: I KNOW A LOT OF REFEREES WORRY ABOUT THIS THING HAPPENING. HOW DO YOU PREVENT IT? Roger: SOME SUGGEST TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR PLAYERS WHO WOULD PHYSICALLY OR VERBALLY ABUSE REFEREES, BUT IN THIS CASE, NO ONE SAW THIS KIND OF PUNCH COMING. BUT THEY DON'T WANT FANS AND PLAYERS TO FORGET ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO JOHN. THEY HOPE THEY WILL RECALL THIS AND JUST HOLD THEIR TEMPER. REMEMBER, IT'S A GAME AND SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT FUN AND FITNESS. Carmen: AND OFTENTIMES, IT HAPPENS SO QUICKLY, NOT A WHOLE LOT OF TIME THERE. THIS TRAGEDY HAS LEFT MANY WONDERING HOW IT'S POSSIBLE TO DIE FROM A SINGLE BLOW TO THE HEAD. DR. FRANK McGEORGE JOINS US TO EXPLAIN. IT CAN HAPPEN AS WE SAW. Dr. McGeorge: IT CAN HAPPEN. IT'S NOT COMMON FOR PEOPLE TO DIE FROM A SINGLE BLOW TO THE HEAD, BUT IT DOES HAPPEN. IT'S MORE LIKELY IN CIRCUMSTANCES LIKE THIS WHERE SOMEONE IS CAUGHT OFF GUARD BECAUSE THERE'S NO OPPORTUNITY TO REDUCE THE FORCE OF THE BLOW BY SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AND TURNING YOUR HEAD OR TENSING YOUR NECK MUSCLES, LIKE IN A CAR ACCIDENT. IF YOUR HEAD IS STRUCK AND THERE'S NO MUSCLE CONTROL, IT MOVES MUCH FASTER. THE BRAIN ACTUALLY HAS THE CONSISTENCY OF LIKE FIRM JELL-O. SO WHEN YOU'RE HIT, IT'S LIKE SHAKING JELL-O IN A JAR AND CAUSES SMALL TEARS IN THE BRAIN FROM THE RAPID DECELEBRATION AND ACCELERATION. IF THE PLEADING IS SEVERE, IT CAUSES DEATH QUICKLY. EVEN WHEN THERE'S NO BLEEDING, THE SWELLING OF THE BRAIN FROM THE GENERAL DAMAGE INCREASES THE PRESSURE IN THE SKULL WHICH CUTS OFF THE BLOOD FLOW. EVEN WITHOUT BREAKING THE SKULL, THE FORCE CAN KILL SOMEONE. AND THAT'S WHY THINGS LIKE THE KNOCKOUT GAME AND THINGS LIKE THAT ARE SO DANGEROUS. AND IT'S BEING CAUGHT OFF GUARD. Devin: THIS HAS HAPPENED -- IT HAPPENED LAST YEAR IN UTAH, A REFEREE DIED FROM BEING HIT. Dr. McGeorge: I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS ABOUT SOCCER. IT HAPPENED LAST YEAR IN A SOCCER GAME AND HAPPENED IN A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT SPORTS. IT'S NOT COMMON. PEOPLE GET HIT ALL THE TIME IN FIGHTS, BUT THERE SEEMS TO BE SOMETHING ABOUT GETTING CAUGHT OFF GUARD BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO OPPORTUNITY TO PROTECT YOURSELF. Carmen: AND NOBODY WANTS TO GET A CARD.

"As he went into his pockets to pull out his red card, he had his head down, and as he came up the guy punched him, hit him kind of in the neck and chin area and then the jaw. He was out cold," Cosenza said. "Had he seen it coming he might have been able to get his arms up, but the guy took two or three steps and came right in. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen."


Bassel Saad faces an assault charge after allegedly punching a referee during an adult league soccer game on Sunday, June 29, 2014 in Livonia.

Saad was arraigned Monday. His bond was set at $500,000. His preliminary examination is scheduled for July 10.

A GoFundMe has been set up for anyone who would like to donate to the victim's family. A memorial website has been set up.