MURRAY, Utah - Ricardo Portillo's daughters had begged him to stop refereeing in a soccer league because of the growing risk of violence from angry players.
Now they're planning his funeral after he succumbed to injuries late Saturday that had put him in a coma for a week after a 17-year-old goalie punched him in the head.
Authorities say the teen punched Portillo, 46, after the youth was called for a foul and issued a yellow card.
"The suspect was close to Portillo and punched him once in the face as a result of the call," police spokesman Justin Hoyal said in a statement.
The suspect has been booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault. Hoyal said authorities will consider additional charges in light of the Salt Lake City man's death.
Hoyal said an autopsy is planned. No cause of death was released.
Portillo suffered swelling in his brain and had been listed in critical condition, Dr. Shawn Smith said Thursday at the Intermountain Medical Center in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray.
The victim's family spoke publicly of Portillo's plight this past week, but has asked for privacy, Hoyal said.
The unaffiliated soccer league, Liga Continental de Futbol, updated its Facebook posting yestearday with a tribute to Portillo including a number of photographs of him refereeing and playing soccer. It also set up a bank account to accept donations for his family. No plans have been announced for a funeral or memorial services.
Mario Vazquez, the league president who also was a friend and worked with Portillo, said yesterday that everyone in the league had the greatest respect for him.
Accounts from a police report, Portillo's daughter and others offer further detail what occurred.
The teenager was playing goalie during a game at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville when Portillo issued him a yellow card for pushing an opposing forward who was trying to score.
The teenager began to argue with the referee, then punched him in the face. Portillo seemed fine at first, then asked to be held because he felt dizzy. He sat and started vomiting blood he slipped into a coma shortly after arriving at a nearby hospital.