CHP officer charged with assaulting woman during traffic stop in Santa Clarita

A retired California Highway Patrol officer was charged with assaulting a female driver during a traffic stop in Santa Clarita last year, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced Tuesday.

Todd Cookston, 54, was charged with one felony count of assault for the March 2022 incident and will be arraigned on April 25.

According to authorities, Cookston pulled the woman over on the 5 Freeway near Santa Clarita. When she got out of the car, an altercation between the woman and Cookston took place. Cookston allegedly punched the woman in the face.


"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 Gascón said. "Excessive force by law enforcement officers will not be tolerated in Los Angeles County."