35th District police officer suffers near-fatal heart attack during struggle with suspect

A 35th District Police Officer is in a medically-induced coma after suffering a heart attack during what investigators believe was a violent struggle with a suspect.

During a Friday morning press conference at police headquarters, department spokesman Lt. John Stanford said that Officer Michael Gwynn, 31, is currently in stable condition at Albert Einstein Medical Center after the incident on the 4800 block of N. 7th St.

According to police, at 12:45 a.m. Friday, officers responded to 7th and Loudon streets in Olney to assist an officer. Upon arrival, they observed Gwynn holding on to a suspect in the middle of street. The responding officers observed that Gwynn was unconscious and unresponsive.

Two 35th District officers, Timothy Straus and Jeffrey Lendzinski, immediately began performing CPR and transported Gwynn to Einstein.

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The suspect in the struggle, Havon Cooper, 34, of the 1700 block of Bristol St., was apprehended and transported for Temple University Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.

Allegedly violent struggle

Stanford reinforced the belief that the struggle was violent. He said Gwynn’s extra magazine, handcuffs and buttons from his shirt were found on the street.

He added that Cooper has four prior arrests including robbery, escape and aggravated assault charges, and is currently wanted on an absconder charge, a violation of parole or probation (PDF).

Gwynn spent one of his four years on the force in the 35th District, which includes a portion of West Oak Lane. He is married and has two children. Stanford reported that Gwynn is described by his superiors as “a good, aggressive officer.”

Earlier this morning, Commissioner Charles Ramsey indicated that Gwynn’s heart had stopped briefly. Stanford was unable to confirm this statement or provide further details Gwynn’s medical condition or prognosis.

“Thanks to the quick actions of officers Lendzinski and Straus, Gwynn is still with us today,” said Stanford. “We ask that you continue to keep him and his family in your prayers.”

Detectives from the Northwest Detective Division are currently canvassing the neighborhood to find possible witnesses and surveillance footage.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Northwest Detectives at (215) 686-3353/54 or the department’s tipline at 215-686-TIPS (8477). Tips can also sent via text to PPD TIP (773847) or via the PPD’s website.

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