San Diego

El Cajon Police Officer, Assaulted at KFC Restaurant, Released From Hospital

A police officer repeatedly punched in the face by a suspect during a petty theft call in El Cajon has been identified. 

El Cajon Police Officer Jose Sioson, a 28-year veteran of the department, was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon. 

Sioson was punched and knocked unconscious when responding to a petty theft in progress at a Dollar Tree on Fletcher Parkway, near Johnson Avenue, on Monday morning. 

Officers followed the suspect, identified as 42-year-old Daniel Cook, into a KFC restaurant. When Sioson approached Cook, he punched the officer repeatedly and knocked him out.

Witnesses said even when Sioson fell to the floor, Cook continued to attack him.

Cook then fled the scene but was later arrested and booked into the San Diego County Jail.

Iesha Booker, a San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) bus driver, rushed to help Sioson after the attack. She grabbed his radio and alerted officers that one of their own was unconscious. 

Following the attack, Sioson was taken to the hospital with significant head trauma. 

Booker said she does not consider herself to be a hero and was just glad she could help. She told NBC 7 she has been homeless with her children and is staying in hotels and with friends for the past two and a half months to save money for a new place.

A GoFundMe page has been started to help her.

Cook faces five felony counts of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest with force causing great bodily injury, robbery, possession of and being under the influence of methamphetamine.

He pleaded not guilty Thursday morning. His bail was set at $500,000.

Cook has a prior criminal history, which includes an assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and a robbery conviction, according to prosecutors.

No other information was available.

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