SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Doctors say a Utah soccer referee remains in a coma after being punched by a teenage player unhappy with one of his calls, and his family says their only hope is for a miracle.
The 46-year-old man remained in critical condition Thursday at Intermountain Medical Center in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray. Doctors say they're trying to control swelling in his brain and that his recovery is uncertain.
Police say a 17-year-old player in a recreational soccer league punched the referee, Riccardo Portillo, once on the side of his head Saturday after the man flagged him for a foul. The teen has been booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault.
Portillo's oldest daughter says it wasn't the first time a soccer player assaulted her father. Johana Portillo says the referee has had ribs and legs broken by players angry with his calls.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.