Posted on May 2, 2013 · Posted in Brain Injury

What do you do when a soccer referee gives you a warning about your unsportsmanlike behavior? You punch him in the head.

At least that’s what one 17-year-old did Saturday during a game in Taylorsville, Utah, according to the Deseret News of Salt Lake City.  Now the referee is in a coma, with his brain dangerously swollen.

The family of Riccardo Portillo, 46, is praying for his recovery. How did this whole mess start?

Portillo issued a yellow card, essentially a warning, to a player during Saturday’s game. That youth then punched the referee on the side of the head.

Portillo was sent to Intermountain Medical Center, where doctors discovered that the blow to his head had started bleeding in one area of his brain, “and blood loss and edema in another,” Deseret News reported.

Portillo was in extremely critical condition, and as of Thursday still had major swelling in his brain.

The teen faces charges of aggravated assault.


About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447