Fundraiser Saturday for John Bieniewicz, the soccer referee who was killed during a game

LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) - A fundraiser is being planned tomorrow for the soccer referee killed after being sucker-punched at Mies Field in Livonia on June 29.

It's taking place at Compuware Arena in Plymouth, where the Plymouth Whalers play the Windsor Spitfires in a hockey game.

"We were a team the four of us and a member of that team is gone, and somebody’s got to step up, but I know I’m going to have to rely on others to pull it off," says Kris Bieniewicz the night before a fundraiser will be held honoring her husband John.

Bieniewicz was punched at an over 30 recreational soccer game by 36-year-old Bassel Saad, an auto mechanic that hit the 44-year-old referee in the neck as he was pulling out a penalty card against Saad.

Action News is learning new information about Saad in the moments after police say he delivered the punch, deemed by a coroner as “blunt force trauma” killing John two days later in a hospital.

A teammate of Saad’s performed CPR on Bieniewicz as his attacker drove away, flipping people off in the parking lot as they were trying to stop him from running.

An unbelievable action drawing many emotions.

"Anger, bitterness, I don’t understand the senselessness behind it," says Kris Bieniewicz.

Saad is charged with second degree murder and is being held on $1 million bond. He has a history of violence.

During the preliminary exam, the prosecution brought up a 2006 on-field incident where Saad is blamed for punching a fellow soccer player numerous times in the head.

Kris blames her husband’s attacker for feeling entitled to act so recklessly…

"I think its high time that people take a look and realize that we need to respect everybody," says Kris.

Bieniewicz says her faith in humanity is being restored by the many generous donations that will set up college funds for her sons, 14-year-old Kyle and 9-year-old Josh. But she can’t yet forgive the man that took her husband’s life.

"I know if he asked for it one day God will forgive him, eventually one day I’ll get to that point. Am I there right now, no."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support the family of John Bieniewicz. You can access the page by clicking here.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments