CHP officer pleads to misdemeanor  

San Fernando Superior Courthouse. Courtesy
San Fernando Superior Courthouse. Courtesy

A now-retired California Highway Patrol officer pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge that he struck a woman during a 2022 traffic stop on Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita. 

Todd David Cookston, 55, was sentenced to one year of summary or informal probation, 80 hours of community service, 26 weeks of anger-management classes and several hundred dollars in court fees and assessments. 

A felony arrest warrant was issued in February 2023, about 11 months after the assault occurred, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. 

“After the woman exited her vehicle, an altercation occurred, and Cookston allegedly punched her in the face,” according to a news release from District Attorney George Gascón, who called Cookston’s behavior “reprehensible.” 

Under the terms of the plea, Cookston, who had already retired, also voluntarily surrendered his Peace Officer Standards and Training certification. 

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