A 29-year-old California soccer player has died 15 days after a massive fight broke out during a match after two teams disagreed with a referee’s call.
The incident occurred on Sunday, July 10, when the Oxnard Police Department in California received a call to send to Oxnard High School after receiving reports of a major fight taking place on a football field at around 11 a.m., according to police.
When authorities arrived at the scene, they discovered 29-year-old Michael Sanchez of Port Hoenim, California, lying in a field. He was unresponsive and not breathing, according to a statement from the Oxnard Police Department.
“Officers spoke to witnesses and learned that the fight was between two adult football teams,” the statement read. “The fight took place when the two teams disagreed with the referee’s decision. Sanchez was on the field playing football for one of the two teams when the fight broke out. During the fight, Sanchez was attacked by several attackers.”
Police said Sanchez was then taken to Ventura County Medical Center, where he is listed in critical condition. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said Sanchez died in the early hours of Monday from injuries sustained in the field attack.
An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of Sanchez’s death after the accident.
Investigators are currently trying to locate additional witnesses and video of the incident but the Ventura County Police Department has confirmed that at least one person, 46-year-old Berlin Jose Melgara who tried to leave the scene of the fight, has been arrested. She was arrested for assaulting Sanchez, police say.
It is unclear if Melgara had a role in the attack, whether he is still being held by authorities or whether he has retained legal representation, but the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department confirmed he was being questioned about the assault, according to their statement.
“We weren’t ready for that kind of goodbye,” said the GoFundMe page in memory of Sanchez. “At this time, we ask for your prayers.”
The investigation into the attack is still ongoing and anyone with any information regarding this case can report it online through the Oxnard Police Department website.
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