Family waits as father punched by soccer player remains in coma

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  • uwishtoo MESA, AZ
    May 5, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    I hope the 17 year old gets locked up for a very long time.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    May 3, 2013 10:31 p.m.

    I am all for some who is being bullied hauling off and taking a punch at the bully. But for a team player to haul off and take a swing at the ref? I don't think the player deserves jail time for eternity, but what concerns me is a growing lack of respect for people in this world. Many educators have come to fear youth for similar reactions to any sort of comments made about their misguided choices. If an adult needs to discipline (I didn't say punish) but correct a student or other youth, they are often taking their life in their own hands.

  • MormonSean Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2013 9:32 p.m.


    One can support justice and mercy at the same time. The existence of mercy does not need to rob justice. We can be a compassionate people, loving, forgiving, and kind while dealing justly.

    I am familiar with the different "versions" of justice men study. I've made my point and if you disagree then so be it. But I believe people should be made aware... we ought to consider the judgement we want for ourselves when passing judgement on others.

    I have hope for the man and his family. I also have hope for this teenager, that the judgement given him will serve to help him and not destroy him.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    Perhaps we can try to separate vengeance from justice. Individuals sometimes seek vengeance or revenge on a personal level for some act they feel has damaged them, in some way. Justice is society's way of punishment for violation of a law or standard. The family may forgive, or not as they choose and seek financial retribution or not as they choose.

    However there are laws for striking a person, and if the blow injures or kills there are more severe penalties. I want the law enforced, for if we don't we have chaos - people striking others with no thought of punishment. I hope reasoned people, in a jury, will consider all the evidence and make their best judgement.

    There is a whole lot of this story that is not being told, the lack of real information on the matter is not being reported. Why?

  • EightOhOne St. George, UT
    May 3, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    @ JBQ

    here in utah, i believe this case would qualify the kid to be tried as an adult. certain felony charges, and as long as the youth is at least 14, they are eligible to be put in the adult system.

    @ mormonsean

    i dont believe "most Americans are just as guilty of throwing just as hard of punches". "most americans" would not be in a situation where they caused severe harm to someone else. i believe if you put "most americans" in that same situation of the kid, more than 99% walk away without "throwing just as hard of punches". hopefully this helps him and others become better people, it def reminds me how fragile life is. but point blank-the kid screwed up and must make ammends for it one way or the other.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    May 3, 2013 12:22 p.m.

    What is there about sports that brings out the worst in people? I've witnessed ugly and violent behavior (verbal and physical) from little kids to professionals among players, coaches, referees and fans. Why is our society so obsessed with sports? Is what is happening in sports today just an outward expression of an inner sickness that permeates our society? Why does such an ugly part of our society get get such a disproportionate amount of attention in our newspapers. Is there anything in sports that is virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy? I used to be a real fan but the longer I live, the less interest I have in such a sick part of our society.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    My father died of a head injury, so I know the stressful vigil this family is going through. Can someone make any sense of this?

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    May 3, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    Does anyone ever mention to the players that this is just a game!!!! They are not playing for Cattle Ranches in Texas. It is just a game and probably at a very low grade in that. This is a tragedy a man's life hangs in the balance because someone considered that their skills were higher than they actually were. There are not winners here, just losers, even if the team wins the game it loses it's integrity and the game is soured by a thoughtless act of stupidity. Something that took a few seconds will have life long consequences.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    May 3, 2013 10:42 a.m.


    "I am very disappointed that the fictional term "extremely critical" is used and even more disappointed it is in there twice. It is a term made up by TV and has no basis in reality. Doctors call the term "Critical"."

    Really?! A good man is hanging on to his life by a thread over another's senseless behavior and the use of the term "critical" is what you are upset about?

    Now, that is messed up!

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    May 3, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    re: MormonSean. There is judgment and there is justice. They are two different things. One of the differences in your tree example is restitution to the victims. If some kid scorches my yard he owes less restitution to me than if he burns down my house. The punishment demands of justice require a different standard than my personal judgment of that kid. I suspect though, that it would be more difficult to be less angry at the kid who burned down my house and possibly harmed family members through his thoughtless actions than someone who scorched a tree.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    May 3, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    The only time the term "unarmed" should be used is when a person has no arms (appendages). Fists are just as deadly of weapon as any baseball bat, knife or gun. Maybe we need background checks for anyone who chooses to keep their hands, or feet for that matter. Otherwise, they should be surgically removed to protect others.

  • MormonSean Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    God judges us based on the intent of our hearts. Men judge based solely on what they see with their eyes.

    Most Americans are just as guilty of throwing just as hard of punches because of a sport as this teenager is. This makes many hypocrites.

    Two children light a match to play with fire in a field. Both choices are stupid. One burns a tree down and the fire extinguishes. The other burns a forest and a home down.

    We'll readily crucify one of them while merely teach the other a hard lesson. There certainly isn't any mercy, forgiveness, and love shown in this... but there isn't even justice in punishing them unequal to their choices. The same wrong choice, in two different places, can have different consequences. Is our forgiveness and mercy dependent on such a condition and not remorse?

    We are commanded to forgive!

    As we pass judgement and execute punishment on other people, we ought to remember that we will be judged with the same measure of forgiveness we're willing to show. So far, it seems we have a pretty big mote in our own eye to worry about.

  • maclouie Falconer, NY
    May 3, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    Dixie Dan: how would a law have helped this coach or any other? A new law would just make someone like you and a politician or two happy that something was done no matter how useless such a law would be. Besides, the youth is being charged. Sounds like there is already a law.

    Instead, we need leaders, teachers, and parents to teach our youth, and everyone else, Christ like behavior.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    May 3, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    Does it go without saying that this youth should be barred from competitive sports for life - at all levels? That should be the sentence, in addition to any jail time for aggravated assault.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    May 3, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    What a sad and unfortunate thing to occur. I pray this man will fully recover and he will be able to spend the rest of his life with his family. There is so much anger out in the world and this is an example of what this out-of-control feeling can do. I hope and pray that Riccardo will recover and he will if it's the Lord's will. And hopefully that young out-of-control man will learn a great less of restraint and control. We can only hope this is possible.

  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    May 3, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    DEW Cougars, I am sure they haven't come forward on advice of their attorneys.
    But it's sad...I think it would mean a lot to the man's family if they would.
    Such a sad turn of events. Hopefully this young man will learn to control his temper in the future. IT WAS ONLY A GAME!

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    May 3, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    Scary indeed - hang in their to all of you including the 17 year old kid. I wondered to know why both of this 17 year old and his parents going to step foward about their feelings if they have one. Riccardo is in coma not knowing what is happening to him self - hang in their Dr. and Hospital staffs!

    Man, I wish something are trained to those referees what to espect and when to defend if something going to happen. Like if Reccardo knew he was going to give a yellow card he should have display it at a far away distance so no players are close to those referees and same at any sports. Police are not always needed at every games.

  • Paper Cut ,
    May 3, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    It's a shame that our health care system is such a disaster that it's just common place when someone suffers a serious injury, or is hurt in an accident, we need to set up accounts at local banks to help cover the cost of their care.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    May 3, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    This young man is 17. In most states, he would be considered an adult. I presume then that Utah uses 18. Throughout the country, there are problems with the juvenile system. Gang members recruit youngsters intentionally to act as "soldiers" to evade punishment. The compassion of the juvenile system for treating non adults is being used against society. There is a deep need for reform.

  • wilsclanmom Alexandria, VA
    May 3, 2013 7:06 a.m.

    We all hope and pray this fine man overcomes his terrible injury and rejoins his family. I know his daughter is upset right now, but I hope when she has time to think and pray about it she will realize that her father wouldn't want any more lives destroyed. I cannot see how it will help to send the 17 year-old young man who is responsible to jail for the rest of his life. Yes, he may "deserve" it. But it sounds like the father is the kind of man who would forgive him, and want him to learn from his mistake and try to redeem himself by living a better life. Vengeance is an unworthy motive to want to leave as such a father's legacy.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    May 3, 2013 6:47 a.m.

    Many states have laws that protect officials from be assaulted by players or coaches which include jail time. Does Utah have any such laws?

  • luv2organize Gainesville, VA
    May 3, 2013 6:43 a.m.

    I too hope the outcome for Mr. Portillo is one of good health. It was a very poor decision of the 17 year old and obviously a life changing one. Mercy should be considered of course for the child but as we all know we can't control the consequences of our actions. So sad.

  • Hey Baby Franklin, IN
    May 3, 2013 4:53 a.m.

    What a tragedy...for both the referee and a young man who couldn't control his anger and who probably never felt this could happen.

    Very sad!

    After I pondered this news, I felt comfortable that our counties leadership will not find the need to outlaw the use of hands...I think anyway...

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    May 3, 2013 1:19 a.m.

    Un excusable bahavior for a 17 year old to attack an adult soccer coach. If this is not his first time case of being violent to others perhaps certifying him as an adult would be appropriate ?

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    May 3, 2013 12:03 a.m.

    I am very disappointed that the fictional term "extremely critical" is used and even more disappointed it is in there twice. It is a term made up by TV and has no basis in reality. Doctors call the term "Critical".

  • InspectorC Wasatch Front, UT
    May 2, 2013 11:10 p.m.

    This is THEE... MOST.... gut-wrenching, sickening, helpless and agonizing feeling in the world. 8'^((

    I am waaaaay beyond "speechless". It makes you want to just scream-out, to the far corners of the universe.

    God bless Mr. Riccardo Portillo. Everyone please urgently pray for him!

    And may the Lord bless and comfort his family and loved ones, now and always.

  • SundanceKid27 OREM, UT
    May 2, 2013 11:01 p.m.

    I hope this man is able to pull threw and live a normal life. For the sake of the family and the young man who made the very poor decision.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 2, 2013 10:30 p.m.

    Very sad!

    My hopes and prayers will be for Mr. Portillo's recovery.