Soccer Player arraigned on new charge

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – The 36-year-old Dearborn man accused of assaulting a referee during a soccer game in Livonia last month is now facing a murder charge.

Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad was re-arraigned July 10 in the 16th District Court in Livonia before Judge Kathleen McCann on the charge of second degree murder.

Saad was originally charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder after he allegedly punched referee John Bieniewicz, 44, of Westland, during an adult soccer game June 29, but that charge was dismissed after the new charge was filed by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Bieniewicz was unconscious and unresponsive when emergency crews arrived at the field and died July 1, leading to the heightened charge.

Bond was raised from $500,000 to $1 million cash/surety with a GPS tether issued if the defendant makes bond.

Saad is set for a 1 p.m. July 30 preliminary examination before Judge Sean P Kavanagh.

After amending the charges, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said that the entire community mourned with the victim’s family.

“The alleged actions of this defendant cannot be tolerated and there must be action taken in our legislature to make sure that there are stronger penalties when a referee is the victim during organized sport,” Worthy said.

The alleged incident occurred at Mies Park, 32305 West Chicago, in Livonia just before noon June 29.

Saad was participating in a soccer game and allegedly became upset and punched Bieniewicz in the head after he called for Saad to be automatically ejected from the game for a foul.

After the altercation, Saad fled the scene with a friend but turned himself in to police the following day.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at