A 26-year-old convicted felon was arrested Friday after allegedly hitting a police officer with a baseball bat outside an El Cajon Walmart.
El Cajon Police Department units were called to the Walmart at 605 Fletcher Parkway, near Interstate 8, just before 3:40 p.m. by the store's loss prevention team, which reported the suspect -- later identified as Julian Sebastien Kurko -- was attempting to steal sporting goods and threatening employees with an aluminum bat, according to the department's Lt. Will Guerin.
An officer arrived on scene about two minutes after the call was placed and, as he was preparing to enter the store to search for Kurko, encountered the suspect who exited the Walmart armed with the aluminum bat.
The officer commanded Kurko to lower the bat, but the suspect allegedly charged at the officer and aimed a blow at his head, Guerin said.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
The officer blocked the blow with his upper arm and tackled Kurko to the ground, where the two struggled until additional officers arrived to assist.
"Once other officers arrived on scene, the suspect was handcuffed and placed under arrest, but continued to violently struggle, at which time he was placed into further restraints to protect his safety and the safety of the officers," Guerin said.
Paramedics were called to the scene and evaluated the officer who suffered bruising, swelling and pain to his upper arm. However, he declined transport to a hospital.
Kurko was also evaluated for minor injuries he suffered during the struggle with officers.
Kurko was booked into San Diego County Central Jail for multiple felony charges, including robbery and attempted murder on a police officer.
Authorities also learned Kurko had three felony convictions for violent crimes between 2014 and 2019, and law enforcement officers were victims in two of the crimes.
An investigation into the alleged assault was ongoing and anyone with information was asked to call the El Cajon Police Department at 619-579-3311.