Man who died as result of ‘punching game’ identified

SAN DIEGO - Authorities Tuesday released the name of the 27-year-old victim who was fatally injured while playing a "punching game" with a friend in a Gaslamp Quarter sports bar.

Corey Poole and a friend were drinking and began "consensually sparring" and punching each other in the chest early Saturday morning when one of the punches dropped Poole to the ground, where he became unresponsive, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office said. Poole was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital, where he died less than an hour later.

Police and paramedics responded to Jolt'n Joe's at 379 Fourth Avenue just before 1 a.m. Saturday after a 911 caller reported Poole's injuries, San Diego police said. Poole had apparently gone out drinking at the downtown sports bar with a group of friends.

"The decedent and a friend began consensual sparring, consisting of concurrently punching each other with closed fists on the chest," the Medical Examiner's Office said, describing what police had previously called "playing a punching game."

"After receiving several punches to the chest, the decedent was struck and immediately collapsed and became unresponsive," the Medical Examiner's Office said.

Bar patrons began giving Poole CPR, and San Diego firefighters and paramedics took over when they arrived at the scene, authorities said. Poole was taken to the hospital, where the resuscitation efforts continued, but he never responded. Doctors declared him dead at 1:45 a.m.

Poole's friend remained at the location and was later taken to a hospital for medical treatment, police said. He was not initially arrested, and it was unclear if he would face charges.

The Medical Examiner's Office had not yet determined the cause of death Tuesday morning and said the manner of death -- whether an accident, a homicide or something else -- is pending based on the police investigation.