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Fundraiser planned for family of soccer referee who died after punch

Associated Press

Plymouth — A fundraiser is planned for the family of a Detroit-area referee who died after being punched by a recreational soccer player.

The event honoring John Bieniewicz is Saturday at Compuware Arena in Plymouth, where the Plymouth Whalers play the Windsor Spitfires in exhibition hockey. Ticket sales also benefit an organization that helps families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

Kris Bieniewicz tells the Detroit Free Press the support her family has received since her husband’s death shows there’s “more good than bad in the world.”

Authorities say Bassel Saad punched Bieniewicz June 29 as Bieniewicz was preparing to red-card Saad. Bieniewicz died two days later.

Saad is awaiting trial on a second-degree murder charge. His lawyer has argued for a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.