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Soccer Referee Punched During Game Dies in Hospital

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DETROIT (AP) — A hospital and a longtime friend say a man who was punched while refereeing an adult-league soccer match has died.

Detroit Receiving Hospital spokesman Alton Gunn and friend and attorney Jim Acho confirm that John Bieniewicz died Tuesday morning.

Livonia police say the referee was punched after indicating he would eject a player from the game on Sunday. A 36-year-old Dearborn man is charged in the attack.

Acho says a fund is being set up to help pay for his friend’s funeral and burial expenses as well as his children’s futures.

According to Acho, Bieniewicz was a dialysis technician at a children’s hospital who lived in Westland with his wife and two sons.

Bieniewicz was a soccer referee for two decades.

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