Spectator sought after brawl at soccer match
An adult indoor soccer match at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Fe turned ugly when a fight erupted and one player received a brain injury, perhaps after being struck by a spectator wielding a bar stool.
A Santa Fe police criminal complaint said the fight occurred Wednesday after a referee pulled out red cards on two opposing players, signifying serious rule violations in a recreational league game between the Santos and the Pandas. Then came the violence.
The police complaint says someone punched Santos player Arturo Bernabe-Rivera in the face and knocked him out.
Bernabe-Rivera’s coach told police that, while his player was unconscious on the ground, a man named Jorge Ortega raised a wooden bar stool over his head and hit Bernabe-Rivera in the face.
Emergency room staff at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center said the blow to Bernabe-Rivera’s head caused a small amount of bleeding in his brain, according to the police complaint. He also needed stitches for a gash on his face.
Christus St. Vincent did not respond to questions about whether Bernabe-Rivera was released from the hospital. Bernabe-Rivera could not be reached for comment.
A Magistrate Court judge on Thursday signed a warrant for the arrest of Ortega, 35, of Española. Ortega had not been arrested as of Thursday evening, according to inmate logs at the Santa Fe County jail.
A representative for La Liga, the community soccer league that hosted the game, said Ortega was a spectator at the soccer match.
Ortega previously had been suspended from playing on the Pandas. The representative, who declined to give his name, said a video of the fight was turned over to police.
The Pandas were barred from the league for the rest of the season, the representative said.
“We can’t tolerate incidents like this one, so we kicked the whole team out,” said the league representative. “We’ve never had this experience before.”