Probe Continues Into Police Scuffle Death


The first phase of an autopsy was completed Sunday on a Downey man who died in police custody, but a cause of death was still undetermined pending further blood and other analysis, a coroner’s spokesman said.

Joseph Gumpert, 28, stopped breathing early Friday morning after a scuffle with Downey police. He was pronounced dead at 5:45 a.m. after being transported to Downey Regional Medical Center.

Police said they responded to a call at 4:50 a.m. Friday about a family disturbance in the 9600 block of Cheddar Street. Officers were told the call involved a man who was possibly under the influence of drugs, police said.


When officers arrived, Gumpert charged toward a rear door where his mother was “trying to safe-guard” Gumpert’s 6-year-old child, police said, adding that a fight ensued between three officers and Gumpert, who armed himself with a broom.

After Gumpert was handcuffed, officers noticed he was bleeding and called for paramedics, police said. Gumpert stopped breathing as he was being treated, police said.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office spokesman said Sunday that blood tests and other chemical analysis will take two to three months to complete.