Santa Monica police on Wednesday said they were investigating the “accidental death” of a 12-year-old boy who was believed to have been asphyxiated while playing “the choking game.” The game sometimes played by pre-teens and teenagers has them explore how long they can go without air — sometimes by choking, self-asphyxiation or simply holding one's breath — before passing out.

Police responded to the medical emergency in the 800 block of 18th Street about 5:08 p.m. on April 20, said Sgt. Jay Trisler. The victim, whose name was not released because he's a juvenile, died two days later at a hospital.

“The Santa Monica Police Department is investigating this incident as an accidental death,” Trisler stated. “Preliminary information reveals that the accidental death may have been as a result of the juvenile engaging in the 'choking Game.'”

Anyone with information about the boy's death was asked to call investigator Maury Sumlin at 310-458-8437, Sgt. Ira Rutan at 310-458-8959 or the SMPD's 24-hour line at 310-458-8495.

LA Weekly