A California Highway Patrol officer has been charged with assault after allegedly hitting a woman in the face during a traffic stop in the Santa Clarita area last year, officials announced Tuesday.
Officer Todd Cookston, 54, faces one felony count of assault under the color of authority, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The incident occurred on March 2, 2022, when Cookston pulled over a 21-year-old woman on the 5 Freeway.
The woman got out of her vehicle and an altercation occurred between the two. That’s when Cookston allegedly punched the victim in the face.
The incident remains under investigation by the CHP.
“The alleged behavior exhibited by this officer was reprehensible. No woman should be detained in the middle of the night and punched in the face because an officer lost his temper,” District Attorney George Gascón said. “Excessive force by law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Los Angeles County.”
Cookston was booked and is scheduled to be arraigned April 25.