By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – One man has been arrested and two additional suspects remain at large following the dismemberment of a referee in an amateur football (soccer) match-turned deadly in the northern Brazilian state of Maranhão on June 30th. Spectators beat and beheaded the game’s referee after he stabbed a player.

One Arrested in Referee Beheading, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Luiz Moraes Souza was arrested in connection to the beheading in Maranhão, photo recreation.

Twenty-year-old Otávio Jordão da Silva had been refereeing the amateur football match in the Maranhão municipality of Pio XII when one player, identified as thirty-year-old Josenir dos Santos Abreu, became angered after receiving a red card and proceeded to kick the referee.

In retaliation, Jordão da Silva then reportedly threw a knife at Abreu, stabbing him in the chest. After witnessing this, the crowd of spectators is said to have tied up Jordão da Silva and waited for authorities to arrive.

The one man in custody, 27-year-old Luiz Moraes Souza, stated in a press conference that “the crowd got together, caught him, tied him up there. We waited for the police for more than an hour and a half. We called them, no one appeared. Then they lynched him.”

Jordão da Silva was reportedly stoned and beaten. His body was then quartered and his decapitated head placed on a stake in the field. Souza confessed to assaulting Jordão da Silva but maintains he is innocent and not responsible for his death and dismemberment.

Valter Costa, police chief from the municipality of Santa Inês, who is handling the case, says the two remaining suspects will be apprehended and that the police are using videos taken by members of the crowd to help to identify the killers.

In a press release, Costa stated that “witness reports have indicated some people that were in place at the time of incident. We will identify and hold accountable all those involved in this incident. One crime will never justify another. Actions like this do not contribute to the legality of a state with the rule of law.”

The player, Abreu, was taken to the hospital, but his stab wounds proved fatal and he died en route.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


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