El Cajon Police Officer
A theft suspect, allegedly Julian Kurko, takes a swing at the officer. Screenshot via El Cajon Police Department video

A man who allegedly tried to kill an El Cajon police officer by attacking him with a baseball bat pleaded not guilty Monday to attempted murder and other charges.

Julian Kurko, 26, is accused in the March 4 afternoon attack outside a Walmart store on Fletcher Parkway.

Kurko, who was being held without bail, is also charged with robbery and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. He faces 47 years to life in prison if convicted of all counts.

According to Lt. Randy Soulard, the officer contacted Kurko following reports that a man was “committing a theft and threatening citizens.”

According to Soulard, Kurko swung the bat at the officer’s head, but the lawman was able to deflect the blow and restrain Kurko until backup arrived. During that time, Kurko allegedly “continued to threaten to kill him.”

Body-worn camera footage shows the officer approaching a man, allegedly Kurko, and asking him to drop the bat before the bat-wielding man swings at the officer. After he’s restrained, the man in the video can be heard saying, “I’ll (expletive) kill you, (expletive)” and “I want to kill you, bro.”

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.

City News Service contributed to this article.