Soccer referee in critical condition after player assault

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 46-year-old man who was acting as a referee in a weekend soccer game was in critical condition while the 17-year-old player who allegedly caused his injuries was arrested Monday on suspicion of aggravated assault.

Unified police Lt. Justin Hoyal said the juvenile became angry at a call the referee issued during a Saturday game on the field of Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville and punched the man once in the face. Hoyal said he wasn't sure which soccer league was holding the match.

The man was taken to a hospital via ambulance at about 11:30 a.m. and was thought to have suffered only minor injuries. However, after arriving at the hospital, it was discovered the man had severe internal injuries. Hoyal said at one point the man was unconscious but he wasn't sure if that was still the case as of Monday afternoon, when the man was still in critical condition.

The teenager was arrested Monday and booked into the Salt Lake Valley Juvenile Detention Center on suspicion of aggravated assault. Since the suspect is a juvenile, Hoyal did not release his name.

Kimball Bennion