BALTIMORE (WJZ) — An on-duty Baltimore detective allegedly threatened a contractor with arrest after he was dissatisfied with a patio the contractor built at his Baltimore County home, charging documents allege.
James Lloyd, 45, a sergeant with the Baltimore City Police Department, is being held without bail pending trial. Judge Kimberly Thomas denied Lloyd’s bail, saying he represents a, “danger to public safety.”
According to charging documents, Lloyd hired a contractor to build a patio in the back of his home in the 2000 block of Emmanuel Drive in Gwynn Oak last month. The men agreed upon a price of $7,000 for the work back on May 20.
Lloyd contacted the contractor on June 18 to tell him some of the pavers had come loose and that he’d like the patio to be larger, according to the documents. The contractor told Lloyd he could fix the pavers, but he’d need a payment of $1,400 to make the patio larger. Lloyd reportedly agreed to the price.
The contractor arrived at Lloyd’s home on the morning of June 25 to continue the work, but when he arrived, he noticed a vehicle was blocking in his crew’s car.
Lloyd reportedly got out of his car and said, “We have problems, where is my contract?”
The pair went to the backyard and the man told Lloyd he would fix the problem, but Lloyd asked him for his driver’s license and showed him his police badge. Lloyd allegedly told the victim that he could have him arrested and his car towed because he was driving on a suspended license due to missed child support payments, pulling out documents showing the suspension.
The victim told police he was afraid because he could see Lloyd was armed under his suit. While they spoke, three more officers, who were also armed and on-duty, arrived at the home.
In court docs, Lloyd identified the other three officers present during the dispute as Detectives Manuel Larbi, Troy Taylor, and Juan Diaz. None are charged criminally. pic.twitter.com/isWo54id9j
— Paul Gessler (@PaulGessler) July 10, 2020
Lloyd told the contractor he wanted $3,500 refunded because he was unhappy with his work.
“We can solve this,” Lloyd allegedly said. “Give me my money back.”
According to the charging documents, as Lloyd continued to threaten the man, the other detectives allegedly took pictures of the contractor’s car.
Lloyd asked the man what bank he used, a Navy Federal Credit Union, and looked up the closest location and said he would drive them there.
As they were driving to the Glen Burnie bank, Lloyd reportedly told the man, “you are going to give me my money back and I’m going to give you freedom.”
After giving Lloyd a cashier’s check for the $3,500, the men returned to Lloyd’s home and the victim allegedly left the scene after being assured he wouldn’t be stopped for driving on a suspended license.
The victim then told several people about what happened, including a Prince George’s County officer and a former Baltimore City police officer. They both told the victim to report the incident to police.
Baltimore County Police came twice to take reports from the victim, on June 25 and June 29. His story was corroborated by the people he told as well as receipts, text messages, eyewitness statements and surveillance video.
On July 9, Lloyd came into the Baltimore County police station to give his statement and was later charged with extortion and kidnapping.
Outside court on Friday, Lloyd’s attorney Matthew Fraling said the case was merely a civil matter.
“This was a contractual dispute that involved absolutely no criminality on behalf of my client, Mr. Lloyd,” he said.
Fraling added he was surprised his client was being held without bail when the prosecutors requested he be given a significant bond.
The three other officers named in the charging document, Detectives Manuel Larbi, Troy Taylor, and Juan Diaz, have all been suspended. None are criminally charged.
The Baltimore City Police Internal Affairs division is also conducting an administrative investigation into the matter.
If Lloyd is convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison on the kidnapping charge alone.
According to documents, Lloyd was one of the lead detectives investigating the death of detective Sean Suiter in 2017.
The three detectives have also had their police powers suspended and are assigned to administrative duties, pending an internal investigation.
In a statement the Baltimore city police department said:
“Based on the initial information from Baltimore County, and a preliminary review of BPD attendance records, it appears that all four members were on duty during the incident. Their alleged misconduct, if proven to be true, does not reflect the values of the Baltimore Police Department and an internal investigation is underway to determine the full extent of their involvement.
Commissioner Harrison took swift and decisive action to the maximum extent that state law allows by suspending Sgt. Lloyd without pay, and suspending the other three detectives with pay.
State law prevents immediate termination of any officer until they are convicted and sentenced for a felony offense. However, state law allows for suspension without pay, but only if an officer is charged with a felony.”
WJZ asked for a mugshot of Floyd but the Baltimore County Police Department said it was against their policy to release it. They recently updated their media policy.