Retired CHP officer charged with felony assault on duty  

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A now-retired California Highway Patrol officer who hit a woman during a traffic stop in March 2022 was charged on Tuesday with one felony count of assault under the color of authority, according to a news release issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  

On March 2, 2022, then-CHP Officer Todd Cookston, now 54, pulled over a woman on Interstate 5 near Santa Clarita. The 21-year-old woman exited her vehicle and an altercation occurred.  

Cookston allegedly punched the woman in her face, according to the DA’s release.  

“The alleged behavior exhibited by this officer was reprehensible,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “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 was filed for warrant on Feb. 21.  

Cookston was charged with one felony count of assault under the color of authority on Tuesday, according to the DA’s news release. The former officer has been booked and is scheduled to be arraigned on April 25 in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. 

The case remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.  

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