Soccer referee's death ruled homicide

John Bieniewicz died after being punched at field in Livonia

DETROIT - The medical examiner's office says the death of a referee who was punched at a Livonia soccer match was a homicide.

According to Wayne County medical examiner's spokeswoman Mary Mazur, an autopsy on John Bieniewicz was conducted Thursday.

It found that he died of blunt force trauma to the neck.

Livonia police say a 36-year-old Dearborn man punched Bieniewicz during an adult-league game Sunday. Bieniewicz died Tuesday. More than $30,000 has been raised for Bieniewicz's family through an online fund.

Prosecutors have charged Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad of Dearborn with assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

The county prosecutor's office says the charges will be reviewed and possibly amended when it has the necessary documentation.

Defense Brian Berry lawyer says his client is innocent.


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

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