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Friend: Ref punched, critically injured during game is loved by many

Published July 1, 2014 8:16 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Livonia, Mich. • A friend says a Detroit-area man who was critically injured while refereeing a soccer match is an optimist who "never has a bad day."

John Bieniewicz (BEN'-uh-wits) is in critical condition at a hospital after being punched by a player at a Sunday game in Livonia.

High school classmate and attorney Jim Acho (A'-choh) said Tuesday that Bieniewicz is a dialysis technician at a children's hospital. He lives in Westland with his wife and two sons.

Acho says Bieniewicz was a high school football and basketball player who later turned to soccer. He's been a well-respected referee for two decades.

Authorities haven't named the referee they say was punched during the adult-league game. Acho says they are good friends.

A 36-year-old Dearborn man is charged with assault in the case.






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