A little more than a week after a 17-year-old soccer player punched a recreation-league referee in the head in suburban Salt Lake City, the referee is dead, the player faces charges, and youth sports are left with questions about the seeming rise in severity of assaults on officials.
Ricardo Portillo, the 46-year-old referee, is only the second official in the United States known to have died as a result of referee assault, according to the National Association of Sports Officials. But Barry Mano, the organization’s president, said that many serious assaults went unreported, and Portillo’s eldest daughter, Johana, said her father had been assaulted before, sustaining broken ribs in another on-field attack about five years ago.
GUEST ALERT: Barry Mano, President of the National Association of Sports Officials joins Rod at 6:05pm
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