US football referee Ricardo Portillo dies after being punched by player in row over yellow card

According to a police report the attack on Ricardo Portillo happened on April 27 at a youth match at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorville

A US football referee has died after being punched in the head by a player in a row over a yellow card.

Ricardo Portillo, 46, of Salt Lake City died at the hospital, where he was being treated following the assault.

Police said the 17-year-old boy accused of punching Mr Portillo remains in a  juvenile detention facility but has not been charged with any crime.

"Formal charges will be screened early next week with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office," a police press release said.

"Since Portillo has passed away additional charges will be screened in connection with his death."

According to a police report the attack on Ricardo Portillo happened on April 27 at a youth match at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorville.

As players were jostling for position ahead of a corner Mr Portillo saw the goalkeeper push an opponent with his hands.

He went on to issue the player with a yellow card. It is alleged that the goalkeeper punched Mr Portillo in the head as he was writing in his notebook.

The teenage goalkeeper was playing in his first game for the La Liga Continental de Futbol squad when he became enraged by the yellow card.

As a consequence Mr Portillo suffered swelling in his brain and had been listed in critical condition, Dr. Shawn Smith said Thursday at the Intermountain Medical Center in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray.

The victim's family, which publicly spoke of Portillo's plight this past week, has asked for privacy.

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.

When police arrived around noon, the teenager was gone and Portillo was laying on the ground in the fetal position.

Through translators, Portillo told emergency workers that his face and back hurt and he felt nauseous.

He had no visible injuries and remained conscious. He was considered to be in fair condition when they took him to the Intermountain Medical Center.

But when Portillo arrived to the hospital, he slipped into a coma with swelling in his brain. Johana Portillo called detectives to let them know his condition had worsened.

That's when detectives intensified their search for the goalie. By Saturday evening, the teenager's father agreed to bring him down to speak with police.

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."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific