Charges Not Filed Against Officer Accused of Pulling Gun on Woman in Annapolis Until Nearly 1 Month After Report Made
Annapolis Police waited nearly 30 days to file charges against a Prince George County Police corporal who allegedly used his service weapon to threaten a woman during a road rage incident that was somehow left out of daily reports published by the department.
On September 22, 2021, James Joseph Thornley, Jr., 47, from the 700 block of Tyler Avenue in Annapolis, was arrested in connection with the incident and charged with felony assault, misdemeanor assault, reckless endangerment and use of a firearm during the commission of a crime. The Prince George County Police Department was notified of the incident the day it occurred, although he was not suspended without pay until the day of his arrest. Thornley, a veteran of 18 years, was taken into custody at an undisclosed location in Prince George County. He was later booked into the Prince George County Detention Center where he is being held without bond, court records show.
Thornley is accused of pointing his gun at another driver in Annapolis while traveling home in his personal vehicle shortly after leaving work. Charging documents say on the morning of August 26, 2021, an officer with the Annapolis Police Department responded to a location in the area of Youngs Farm Road and Forest Drive after a woman called police to report having a firearm pointed at her by a Prince George County Police officer, later identified as Thornley. The unidentified woman reportedly told police that Thornley cut her off and tried to push her vehicle off the road while traveling on Route 50 closest to Riva Road. Once Thornley and the woman reached the intersection of Forest Drive and Chinquapin Round Road, the incident continued. "The woman got out of her vehicle and asked Thornley 'what are you trying to kill me?'," the charging documents say. "Thornley then pointed his firearm at her and said 'get your fat a** back in the car, or Im going to f****** shoot you.' "
During a subsequent interview, Thornley claimed that he brandished his weapon and pointed it at the woman before saying "get the f*** away from his vehicle," after she exited her car and approached him while yelling.
The incident was not disclosed in any of the 20 Annapolis Police Daily Briefings distributed between the day after the report was made and the day Thornley was arrested. The police department did not immediately respond to questions from Report Annapolis on whether or not the case was handled differently or if Thornley received preferential treatment due to him being a sworn law enforcement officer.