Man facing assault charges, accused of knocking out soccer ref during rec game

LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) - A local soccer player is in police custody after losing his cool on the pitch, punching a referee in the head.

Thirty-six-year-old Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad now faces a judge, and the courtroom doesn’t just hand you a red card and send you back to the locker-room.

He’s now in police custody with a half million dollar bond. 

“I mean people are getting heated over almost anything now,” says Josh Shaver. “Games are getting too intense. People are taking it a little too seriously in real life.”

Shaver was stunned to hear it happened on the very field he practices.

Livonia Police say Saad, threw a punch at a referee during an organized adult soccer game Sunday around noon at Mies Park.  Prosecutors say the ref had just ejected Saad from the game when the Dearborn man lost his cool. That punch to the head put the official in critical condition.

“I mean, when it comes to the refs, that usually gets stopped right away,” Shaver says. “You start mouthing off to the ref, teammates grab you, you get out of that mess.”

Saad was arraigned this afternoon, charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

Soccer fans admit emotions of the game run high at times, but it should never rise this high.

“I don’t know, I think it’s a little extreme,” Shaver says. “Clearly the guy’s got something going on if he’s doing that to a dude over a little game of rec league. Sometimes you just run across some guys who take things a little too seriously.”

Saad’s next court date, a preliminary exam, is set for July 10th.

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