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Utah teen charged with homicide by assault in death of soccer referee

Utah teen charged with homicide by assault in death of soccer referee

This story is just sad. A Utah teen has been charged with homicide by assault in the death of 46-year-old soccer referee Ricardo Portillo. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced the charges, saying he will seek to try the teen as an adult.

On April 27th, Portillo was refereeing the teens soccer match when Portillo yellow-carded him (gave him a warning) for pushing an opponent. The 17-year-old teen then began to argue with Portillo and then struck him in the head. Portillo was taken to the hospital in fair condition but slipped into a coma later. He never regained consciousness and died Saturday.

Funeral services for the beloved father of three and grandfather of four will be held Wednesday in Salt Lake City. According to the Washington Post:

Family members said Portillo loved soccer, and had been working as a referee in different leagues for eight years. His oldest daughter, Johana Portillo, said he had been attacked before by players, even having his legs and ribs broken. Though his daughters begged him to quit, he said he couldn’t give up his passion.

While family and friends are grief stricken, they are also outraged. What was going on in the mind of the teen to think it was OK to strike the referee? Has the teen had previous troubles with anger and/or violence?

This story is so sad and this death could have been avoided. While we cannot draw conclusions about the teen, we can say that he clearly lacked control of his emotions. The charges against him are lesser charges than manslaughter, but for adults, this charge carries a maximum five year prison term.

How sad for the Portillo family and for this teen whose life will never be the same.

What do you think?

Your Jersey Girlfriend,

~Angela Davis

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