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2 cops rescue fellow officer after a heart-stopping encounter
[December 03, 2012]

2 cops rescue fellow officer after a heart-stopping encounter

Dec 02, 2012 (Philadelphia Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- OFFICER Michael Gwynn was alone, with his arms wrapped around a thug, when his heart stopped on the streets of Olney.

By all accounts, the life of the married father of two could have ended when he collapsed at 7th and Louden streets shortly before 12:45 a.m. Friday.

"His left artery, the one they call the 'widow-maker,' was 100 percent blocked," said John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5.

"His radio had been flipped to a different zone," said Police Commissioners Charles Ramsey. "He was calling for help on the East Division band, as opposed to the Northwest Division, where he was. They didn't know who he was or where he was." As fate would have it, Ramsey said, a citizen overheard Gwynn's violent struggle with a suspect named Havon Cooper and called 9-1-1.

Officers Jeffrey Lendzinski and Timothy Straus arrived at the scene within moments and, while rushing him to Albert Einstein Medical Center, performed CPR on Gwynn.

"Those officers saved his life," Ramsey said. "His heart had actually stopped." By Friday afternoon, Gwynn, 31, was in stable condition in a medically induced coma.

It was unknown how long Gwynn's heart had been stopped, or whether he had suffered any long-term damage, Ramsey said.

McNesby said Gwynn did open his eyes at the hospital, and squeezed his doctor's hand.

Little was known about Gwynn's encounter with Cooper, 34, of Bristol Street near 17th.

Cooper's criminal history includes convictions on charges that include robbery, simple assault and criminal conspiracy. According to court records, a bench warrant was issued for him in February for violating his probation on a 2006 charge of escaping from custody.

He was treated at Temple University Hospital for minor injuries and released into police custody.

-- On Twitter: @dgambacorta ___ (c)2012 Philadelphia Daily News Visit the Philadelphia Daily News at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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