Man arrested after police say he tried to carjack an off-duty Ventura officer

Kenneth Cornwell, seen in a Ventura County Sheriff’s Office booking photo, was arrested by Ventura police on July 19, 2016.

A 53-year-old man got a little more than he bargained for when police say he tried to carjack an off-duty Ventura officer who had his infant child with him Tuesday night.

The police officer was sitting in his personal vehicle in a 99-cent store parking lot around 8 p.m. when he noticed a man, later identified as Kenneth Cornwell, casing vehicles, police said in a statement Wednesday.

Cornwell approached the officer’s vehicle in the 2700 block of East Main Street in Ventura and saw the officer sitting in the driver’s seat. The officer’s child was in the car with him. 

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The suspect tried to open the locked driver’s door and then ran to the passenger’s door and opened it, police said. 

Fearing for his safety, and his child’s, the officer took out his gun and identified himself as a police officer, officials said. 

The officer detained Cornwell until patrol officers arrived. The name of the officer and the gender of his child was not released.

Cornwell was booked at the Ventura County jail for suspicion of attempted carjacking and possession of narcotic paraphernalia, officials said. 


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