Northeast Times

Stricken officer is out of coma after struggle with suspect

A po­lice of­ficer from North­east Phil­adelphia who suffered a heart at­tack while strug­gling with a sus­pect last week is out of a coma.

Of­ficer Mi­chael Gwynn, 31, col­lapsed while mak­ing an ar­rest in the 35th dis­trict, FOP pres­id­ent John McNesby said Monday af­ter­noon after he vis­ited Gwynn in the hos­pit­al. 

McNesby said Gwynn had been in a vi­ol­ent struggle with a sus­pect be­fore he was found by two oth­er of­ficers early Fri­day. 

The Phil­adelphia In­quirer re­por­ted two oth­er 35th dis­trict of­ficers, Jef­frey Lendz­in­ski and Timothy Straus, found the un­con­scious Gwynn on top of Hav­on Cooper at about 1 a.m. on the 4800 block of N. Sev­enth St., per­formed CPR and rushed him to Al­bert Ein­stein Med­ic­al Cen­ter.

“They ac­tu­ally saved his life,” McNesby said Monday.

Gwynn lives near Holme Circle with his wife and two chil­dren. His par­ents live in the Far North­east, McNesby said. Gwynn has been a po­lice of­ficer about four years, he ad­ded.

The In­quirer re­por­ted doc­tors re­vived Gwynn and in­duced a coma. McNesby said Monday that the of­ficer was out of the coma.

Gwynn was work­ing in Ol­ney when he came upon Cooper shortly be­fore 1 a.m., the In­quirer re­por­ted, and called for as­sist­ance as he began chas­ing him. Lendz­in­ski and Straus saw Gwynn hold­ing Cooper down, but when they got to them, Gwynn was un­con­scious.

Cooper was charged with res­ist­ing ar­rest, simple as­sault and ag­grav­ated as­sault. He re­mains in cus­tody at the Cur­ran-From­hold Cor­rec­tion­al Fa­cil­ity on State Road. A pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing is sched­uled for Dec. 19.

Cooper’s crim­in­al re­cord in­cludes con­vic­tions for as­sault, theft, con­spir­acy, rob­bery and pro­ba­tion vi­ol­a­tions. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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