El Cajon, CA – A convicted felon allegedly attempted murder an El Cajon police officer by trying to bash him in the head with a metal bat outside a Walmart store on March 4, according to police (video below).
The attack occurred at the Parkway Plaza Walmart store on Fletcher Parkway at approximately 3:45 p.m. on March 4, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Police responded to the scene after a member of the store’s loss prevention team reported that a man was threatening citizens and employees with an aluminum bat and trying to steal various items from the sporting goods area, El Cajon Police Department (ECPD) Lieutenant Will Guerin told KNSD.
An ECPD officer arrived at the scene approximately two minutes after the call was placed and intercepted the bat-wielding suspect as he was walking out of the store, bodycam footage showed.
The suspect was later identified as 26-year-old convicted felon Julian Sebastien Kurko, KNSD reported.
“Hi there, man,” the officer greeted him. “Can we just sit down for a second and talk about what’s going on?”
But Kurko immediately began advancing on the officer, ignoring his repeated orders to “drop the bat,” the video showed.
The suspect then raised the bat over his shoulder and took a full swing at the deputy’s head, according to police.
The ECPD said the officer was able to use his upper arm to deflect the bat from slamming into his head, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“Despite attempts to de-escalate the incident, [the officer] was violently assaulted when the suspect attempted to strike the officer in the head with the bat, the ECPD said in the video briefing. “During the struggle, the officer was in a fight for his life, as the suspect continued to threaten to kill him.”
The officer was able to restrain the suspect until additional officers arrived at the scene minutes later.
“I’ll f—king kill you, mother f—ker!” Kurko said in the video. “I want to kill you, bro.”
The officer suffered minor injuries during the attack but has since returned to full duty, KNSD reported.
Kurko, who has three prior convictions for violent offenses committed between 2014 and 2019, was booked into the San Diego County Jail on charges of armed robbery and attempted murder on a police officer.
The victims in two of his prior cases were law enforcement officers, according to KNSD.
Kurko spent a portion of the past three years either in drug or mental health treatment facilities or incarcerated, The San Diego Tribune reported.
He was scheduled to be arraigned on March 8, but was in medical isolation at the time, a San Diego County District Attorney’s Office spokesperson told CNS.
“Every day, police officers respond to calls for service in our communities, never knowing what they will encounter,” the police department said in the video briefing. “Officers are often challenged with making split-second, life-and-death decisions when threatened with unprovoked, violent attacks as they perform their duties.”
The ECPD said the bodycam footage of the attack “stands as a small reminder of the danger and risk our police officers face daily to protect and serve our communities.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content and Obscene Language: