MURRAY, Utah (AP) - A Utah soccer referee who slipped into a coma after being punched by a teenage player during a game a week ago died Saturday night, police said. Ricardo Portillo, 46, of Salt Lake City passed away at the hospital, where he was being treated following an assault, Unified police spokesman Justin Hoyal said. Police have accused a 17-year-old player in a recreational soccer league of punching Portillo after the man called a foul on him and issued him a yellow card. ”The suspect was close to Portillo and punched him once in the face as a result of the call,” Hoyal said in a press release.
Johana Portillo, 26, said last week that she wasn’t at the April 27 game in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville, but she said she’s been told by witnesses and detectives that the player hit her father in the side of the head. ”When he was writing down his notes, he just came out of nowhere and punched him,” she said. The teenager was playing goalie during a game at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville when Ricardo Portillo issued him a yellow card for pushing an opposing forward trying to score a goal. The teenager, quite a bit heavier than Portillo, began arguing with the referee, then unleashed a punch to his face. Portillo seemed fine at first, then asked to be held because he felt dizzy. He sat down and started vomiting blood, triggering his friend to call an ambulance.
Portillo’s family said he had been attacked before, and Johanna Portillo said she and her sisters begged their father to stop refereeing because of the risk from angry players, but he continued because he loved soccer. ”It was his passion,” she said. “We could not tell him no.”
This is why I never get in fights. Just got a feeling my first punch is going to absolutely annihilate someone and land me in jail for the rest of my life. Also I’m a pussy. (Mainly that one.) But a little bit because I have the worst luck in the world and know without a doubt my first lucky punch to land will hit some like 1-in-a-million spot on your brain that kills you instantly. So as a general rule of thumb I just don’t punch people in the face especially referees after they make a questionable call. Probably a rule this fat soccer pussy teenager should have followed so he could try to avoid murder charges and not leave a bunch of girls fatherless because he was whining about a slide tackle.