Former CHP Officer Charged With Assaulting Woman During Traffic Stop

Highway Patrol vehicle driving on a street

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A now-retired California Highway Patrol officer has been charged with assault for allegedly punching a woman in the face during a traffic stop last year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.

Todd Cookston, 54, is set to be arraigned in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom April 25 on one felony count of assault under the color of authority.

Cookston detained a 21-year-old woman on Interstate 5 near Santa Clarita last March 2 and punched her in the face after the woman stepped outside her vehicle and an altercation ensued, according to the District Attorney's Office.

In a statement announcing the charges, District Attorney George Gascón said, "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. Excessive force by law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Los Angeles County."

The case remains under investigation by the CHP.

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