Spec­ta­tor sought af­ter brawl at soc­cer match

Santa Fe New Mexican - - LOCAL & REGION - By Sami Edge

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.”

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