A Baltimore County Police sergeant has been arrested on charges of extortion and kidnapping. According to WBAL TV, an additional three city police detectives have been suspended in connection to the case.
Sergeant James Lloyd was reportedly involved in a dispute over a home improvement project. He had hired a contractor to perform work at his home and when he became dissatisfied with the work, he demanded that the contractor issue a refund. The charging documents noted that Lloyd, at a point, told the contractor that he was a police officer, forced him into his car and drove him to a bank with the requirement that the man obtains a certified check to refund the money.
The report also adds details about ways in which Lloyd exerted his powers as an officer. It started when the police sergeant’s partner requested that the patio be made larger. The victim, whose name has been redacted from the public report, told the couple that he could make the space larger but would need to charge more. When he arrived at the home to work on the project, he realized the men who were hired to execute the job for him had their vehicles blocked in by a vehicle that was parked in the road.
Lloyd emerged from another vehicle telling the victim that they had a problem with the contract. He demanded that he see the victim’s license and upon handing it over, the victim claims Lloyd pulls out a folder with his picture in it, questioning the contractor about if he had knowledge of his license being suspended due to child support.
From there an escalating exchange about a refund ensued. The victim says he felt threatened because he could see that Lloyd was carrying a gun under his jacket. He also said that three other officers emerged, badges and guns in tow, which was further intimidating him. That’s when Lloyd demanded the victim go with him to the bank to get the money to repay him, allegedly threatening him along the way saying, “You are going to give me my money back and I’m going to give you freedom.”
James Lloyd, 45, has been charged with extortion in the amount of $1,000 and $10,000 dollars stemming from the incident that transpired on June 25. The Baltimore County Police Internal Affairs is also conducting an administrative investigation, according to WBALTV.
In a statement, Mayor Jack Young said, “I am utterly sickened and appalled by the allegations against members of the Baltimore Police Department. I have spoken with Commissioner Harrison and I am fully supportive of the actions he’s taken to address those involved. Any allegations of illegal acts committed by a member of the department will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” He added, “We will not stand for any members who violate this sacred promise or the public’s trust.”