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Soccer referee punched during game dies of injuries

Published: Friday, July 3 2015 1:59 a.m. MDT

Ricardo Portillo died Saturday at 9:33 p.m., according to a news release from the Unified Police Department. (Family photo) Ricardo Portillo died Saturday at 9:33 p.m., according to a news release from the Unified Police Department. (Family photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — A soccer referee who was hit by an angry player during a soccer match died Saturday night, a week after the fatal blow was struck.

Ricardo Portillo, 46, refereed a soccer game held at Eisenhower Junior High School April 27. During the game, he penalized one 17-year-old player with a yellow card. The player then punched Portillo in the head, police said.

Portillo's injuries were first considered minor, but swelling eventually led to a coma and he had been in critical condition during the week. As of Thursday, Portillo still had bleeding around blood vessels around part of his brain, and edema and blood loss in another.

Portillo died Saturday at 9:33 p.m., according to a news release from the Unified Police Department.

The 17-year-old was booked into the juvenile detention center following the incident. Police have not released his name. The teen is expected to be formally charged by the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office early next week, and may face additional charges in light of Portillo's death.

Riccardo Portillo's daughters Johana and Ana, weep as they explain how one person's decision has impacted their family Thursday, May 2, 2013. Riccardo Portillo, 46, sustained a punch to the side of his head after he issued a yellow card to a 17-year-old player during a soccer game Saturday. He remained hospitalized in a coma on Friday in extremely critical condition. (Mark Wetzel, Deseret News) Riccardo Portillo's daughters Johana and Ana, weep as they explain how one person's decision has impacted their family Thursday, May 2, 2013. Riccardo Portillo, 46, sustained a punch to the side of his head after he issued a yellow card to a 17-year-old player during a soccer game Saturday. He remained hospitalized in a coma on Friday in extremely critical condition. (Mark Wetzel, Deseret News)

Investigators from the Unified Police Department ask anyone who may have information on the circumstances surrounding the incident on the soccer field to call detectives at 801-743-5913.

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