Road rage incident, alleged assault leads to Prince George’s Co. police officer suspension

A Prince George’s County, Maryland, police officer has been suspended without pay after being arrested by another police agency for allegedly pulling a gun on a female driver in what appears to be a case of road rage.

Cpl. James Thornley was arrested by the Annapolis City Police Department on Wednesday and faces several charges, including assault and the use of a firearm.

Thornley was driving home after a shift on the morning of Aug. 26 when he allegedly pointed his duty weapon at another driver in Annapolis, according to Prince George’s County police. Thornley was off duty at the time, driving his personal vehicle, but wearing his police uniform.

The confrontation began on Rt. 50 in Maryland near the Riva Road exit, where the woman said she was cut off by Thornley, according to police charging documents provided by WTOP news partner NBC Washington.

The confrontation continued at the intersection of Chinquapin Road and Forest Drive, in Annapolis, when the woman got out of her car and asked Thornley, “Why are you trying to kill me?”

Thornley then allegedly pointed his firearm at the woman and replied: “Get your fat a– back in the car or I’m going to f—— shoot you.”

The woman said she was approximately 10 to 15 feet away from Thornley’s car when she saw the firearm. She said it was at the level of the steering wheel when it was pointed at her and that she was “pissed and scared” at that point.

Investigators went to Thornley’s home, and during an interview, he admitted to pointing his gun at the woman. But he told investigators that he told the woman to “Get the EXPLITIVE away from my vehicle” when the woman began yelling at him and approaching his car.

Thornely also said the woman had been driving aggressively on Rt. 50.

No one was injured during the incident, police said.

Thornley faces first- and second-degree assault, firearm and reckless endangerment charges.

The Prince George’s police internal affairs division has opened an investigation. They are asking anyone with questions about the incident to contact the Annapolis City Police Department.

It is unclear why Thornley was arrested almost a month after the incident. Annapolis Police did not immediately respond to a comment request from WTOP.

Thornley joined the department in 2003 and is assigned to the Bureau of Patrol.

Glynis Kazanjian

Glynis Kazanjian has been a freelance writer covering Maryland politics and government on the local, state and federal levels for the last 11 years. Her work is published in Maryland Matters, the Baltimore Post Examiner, Bethesda Beat and Md. Reporter. She has also worked as a true crime researcher.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up