2 Philly officers save colleague after heart attack
They performed live-saving CPR after a struggle with a suspect prompted a heart attack
By Allison Steele
Two Philadelphia police officers were lauded Friday for performing lifesaving CPR on a fellow policeman who had a heart attack during a violent struggle with a suspect.
The officers, Jeffrey Lendzinski and Timothy Straus of the 35th District, rushed Michael Gwynn, 31, to Albert Einstein Medical Center after he collapsed early Friday.
Gwynn arrived in critical condition, but doctors revived him and within hours his condition had stabilized, police said. He was in a medically induced coma Friday.
Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey applauded Lendzinski and Straus, saying Gwynn's heart stopped beating at one point.
"They literally saved his life," Ramsey said.
It was not known Friday whether Gwynn's heart attack may have been brought on by a preexisting condition. Philadelphia Lt. John Stanford, of the public affairs unit, could not comment on his prognosis.
"We're going to hope for the best," he said.
The suspect, 34-year-old Havon Cooper, was treated for minor injuries at Temple University Hospital and taken into police custody. He has a record of robbery and assault, Stanford said, and has an outstanding arrest warrant for failing to meet the terms of his probation.
Gwynn is a married father of two who has been with the department four years. He is assigned to the North Philadelphia-based 35th District, where he is known as an aggressive officer, Stanford said.
It was not clear Friday what led to the confrontation, since police have not been able to speak to Gwynn.
But police said Gwynn was patrolling the Olney section alone when he came upon Cooper around 12:45 a.m. on the 4800 block of North Seventh Street. At some point a chase ensued and officers were called to assist.
When Lendzinski and Straus arrived, they saw Gwynn holding Cooper down on the street. By the time the officers got to them, Stanford said, Gwynn had collapsed on top of Cooper, unconscious.
Cooper was not found to have any weapons, but police at the scene later found Gwynn's handcuffs, the extra magazine from his gun, and buttons from his shirt on the ground.
"That would be an indication that there was a violent struggle," Stanford said.
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