State Senator Morris Hood III (D-Detroit) is the sponsor of legislation to make it a felony to assault an official or referee at a sporting event.

This legislation comes after soccer referee John Bieniewicz was killed by a player during a game in Livonia on June 29, 2014.  Bassel Saad is facing charges of second-degree murder after he punched Bieniewicz resulting in death.  Saads murder trial begins February 23rd.

The bill Hood is sponsoring would make it a felony punishable by up to three years in prison if a referee is assaulted.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) has sponsored similar legislation in the past and is looking forward to hearing a new proposal.