Soccer Player Allegedly Stabbed Referee


A District man was arrested and charged Sunday with stabbing a referee minutes after being ejected from a soccer game, Hyattsville police said.

Police said Valeriano Cruz, 21, of Northwest Washington was charged with the attempted first-degree murder of the referee. Cruz is being held without bond at the Prince George's County detention center.

The referee, whose name was not released by authorities, was taken to an area hospital, where he underwent surgery for his wounds. He was released yesterday, police said.

Police said Cruz argued with the referee shortly before 1 p.m. at Nicholas Orem Middle School, where a soccer game was being played.

After being ejected, police said, Cruz left the area but returned within minutes with a knife and stabbed the referee in the chest.

Police said several players wrestled the knife away from Cruz. Investigators have not recovered the knife, police said, and ask that anyone who witnessed the stabbing or who has the knife call 301-985-5060.

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